Raptors' Danny Green: Kawhi Leonard 'Mastered' Avoiding Social Media, Reporters

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 15, 2019

Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard celebrates after the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

In an era when many high-profile athletes try to raise their profile through social media, Kawhi Leonard has been able to tune out all of the extra noise. 

Per Sports Illustrated's Andrew Sharp, Danny Green, who has spent the past eight seasons as Leonard's teammate with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors, explained how the two-time NBA Finals MVP is able to keep a laser-like focus at all times. 

"Not having social media," Green said. "Totally tuning out. Avoiding [reporters] as much as possible in the summertime. He's mastered it."

The NBA is a league built on constant rumors and speculation, especially involving its biggest stars, but Leonard has managed to remain a great mystery. 

Leonard is such a mystery that his laugh became an internet sensation last September, both because it was unusual and no one had seen him do it in public. 

Faizal Khamisa @SNFaizalKhamisa

Here’s Kawhi Leonard doing whatever the robotic equivalent of laughing is. https://t.co/2ZzHM0B7nY

For comparison, Kevin Durant caused a stir for having fake burner accounts on social media, in addition to his personal verified accounts, that he forgot to use when responding to people and criticizing the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017. 

Leonard and Durant are great players in their own right who also present themselves to the public in very different ways. It works for both of them. They have combined to win the last three NBA Finals MVP awards. 

If staying off the grid helps Leonard average 30.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game in the postseason, as he did for the Raptors, no one will have any problem that he isn't speaking openly to reporters or putting his thoughts on social media.