Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry continued to heap praise on teammate Kawhi Leonard after the franchise earned its first NBA Finals berth with a 100-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.
"Right away, first day," Lowry said. "People don't know, he really is an unbelievable dude, really an unbelievable guy. It's fortunate for us to be on our team and to be around him. He jokes. He really laughs and has fun with everything. He really is a good guy."
Leonard has become known for his stone-cold public persona and stoic responses in interviews.
In September, his laugh became a viral sensation after a moment during his media-day press conference:
Although the 2014 NBA Finals MVP doesn't appear to enjoy the spotlight that comes along with being one of the league's best players, rarely is a poor word spoken about him from those who've dealt with him away from the television cameras.
"Kawhi was a great teammate all the way through," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters after the July trade. "All the stories that denigrated him in that regard, that was unfortunate and inaccurate."
Lowry spoke highly of Leonard's impact heading into Game 6.
"The Kawhi thing and how he approaches s--t is unbelievable," he told Lee. "He stays mellow, calm, and I think we kind of took that. He just brought that with him."
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Leonard (player option) can choose to be an unrestricted free agent at season's end, and—in typical fashion—he hasn't publicly discussed his mindset.
But he's clearly made a massive impact during his relatively short stay in Toronto, and it would be a major setback if he leaves over the summer.
Raptors fans would probably forgive him if he brings home an NBA championship first, though. The two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors await in the Finals.