Clippers' Kawhi Leonard Explains Why He Doesn't Smile When Playing Basketball

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2020

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 16: Kawhi Leonard of Team LeBron speaks to the media during the 69th NBA All-Star Game as part of 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 16, 2020 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Tom O'Connor/NBAE via Getty Images)
Tom O'Connor/Getty Images

Off the court, Kawhi Leonard considers himself a "fun guy." 

On it, he's all business—and for good reason.

"I just try to stay locked into the game. It feels like when people are most serious, they play their best basketball. Nobody's smiling in the fourth quarter," Leonard told the Inside the NBA crew after Sunday night's All-Star Game.

Leonard won the first Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP award with 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists to help Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory over Team Giannis. 

The Clippers star's robotic nature has become something of a meme over the last two seasons, starting with his infamous introductory press conference with the Toronto Raptors. His self-description as a "fun guy" combined with a perfect meme-worthy laugh during his introductory press conference with the franchise set the stage for a contrast with his icy on-court demeanor.

New Balance even used Leonard's lack of outward expression as the theme for a new campaign with the star, releasing a shirt that says "No Emotions Are Emotions."

For Leonard, it appears no emotions also leads to a ton of buckets. Odds are the Clippers are just fine with him as is. 

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