Kawhi Leonard's Uncle Dennis Robertson Talks Spurs Exit, Free Agency and More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2019

Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard looks on during the second half of Game 3 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Thursday, May 2, 2019, in Philadelphia. 76ers won 116-95. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Kawhi Leonard continues to attract attention after leading the Toronto Raptors to the NBA Finals, and his uncle, Dennis Robertson, is proud of what his family member has achieved.

"Making it to the Finals is a big deal," Robertson told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. "This is a team that has never been to the Finals and we're happy about that. It feels good with what we went through last year. ... What he accomplished was amazing. That's what stars do. How he's handled everything on and off the court is well deserved."

Robertson is Leonard's career and business strategist, and he took the opportunity to speak for the All-Star Sunday on a variety of issues.

Among the more interesting topics was Leonard's falling out with the San Antonio Spurs, which led to him being traded to the Raptors in the offseason. The forward had only played nine games the previous season because of a thigh injury, but the Spurs medical staff seemed to disagree with the diagnosis.

Robertson noted this was the major issue between the two sides:

"I think it just became a lack of trust. They didn't believe Kawhi couldn't play and that caused a lack of trust in us and then us not believing in them. Any time a player says he's not capable of playing, you should believe him. Why would Kawhi just stop playing all of a sudden? He's a competitor. Sometimes you get these team doctors telling you what you can and cannot do, and Kawhi was just in too much pain to get out there. This was a serious issue. They didn't believe him, and after that, the relationship couldn't recover and we decided we had to move on."

The Raptors were the beneficiaries, landing a superstar who was able to lift the team to the NBA Finals. Leonard has averaged 31.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in the playoffs so far, including a dominant effort in the series-clinching Game 6 against the Milwaukee Bucks when he scored 27 points with 17 rebounds and seven assists.

Adding in his clutch shots throughout the past three rounds, he has been everything the team dreamed of coming into the year.

"He's the best player in the league, and we're happy he's in Toronto," team president Masai Ujiri said after Saturday's win, per Eric Koreen of The Athletic.

There remains a major question about whether he will stay with the organization this offseason or leave in free agency, but that's apparently not on the player's mind.

"We're not thinking about free agency; it's the Warriors [right now]," Robertson added. "Once we get through the season, we'll turn our attention to free agency. But we're just having fun right now. This has been a great year."

Even if he does find a new destination in free agency, Toronto shouldn't be too disappointed considering his contributions from this postseason.

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