Kawhi Leonard did not want to walk the path of the Spurs’ way (which is why he is now a Raptor). Whatever put him off it, Leonard did not want to walk the road that Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and so many others had walked before, a road paved by Gregg Popovich.
David Robinson had walked that road. The Hall of Fame center told Rachel Nichols of ESPN on The Jump he tried to reach out to Leonard, but got no response.
“He really, he’s a hard guy,” Robinson said Monday on ESPN’s The Jump with Rachel Nichols. “He’s just quiet. He doesn’t … I’ve reached out to him several times and just never hear anything back from him.
“I think the whole time he’s been here [in San Antonio] I’ve talked to him maybe a handful of times, and I can count on one hand how many words he’s really said to me. So he’s just a quiet guy, and I think that that’s made it difficult, I think, for all parties to really understand each other in this process.”
Robinson, the line for “I tried to talk to Kawhi but couldn’t” is a long one that could stretch from the Alamo to the AT&T Center. He will have to get in the back of it.
Robinson is right, Leonard’s quiet nature is certainly part of what was going on — all the conflicting reports and rumors are tied to the fact Leonard has not spoken and there is no strong, central, trusted voice from his camp. This includes the disagreement about treatment for his quadriceps tendon issue — the team thought it was a ligament thing, Leonard’s doctors believe it to be muscular in origin — through the rumors about where he will and will not play.
And the Internet abhors a vacuum — a lack of information will get filled in with speculation. Sometimes wildly off-base speculation.
Leonard is going to have to play in Toronto, we’ll see how that goes — and what he says — as we move toward Leonard’s free agency next summer.