If there are questions about San Antonio Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard it would be his jump shot.
Leonard is a high-energy small forward who gives premium on defense with exceptional rebounding skills, these are some of the reasons why the Spurs trade for him on draft night.
However, the main concern about the former Aztec is his ability to shoot the ball consistently. In two seasons at San Diego State, Leonard made just 25 percent of his 3-pointers, and that was from college distance.
But If there is truth to Aztecs coach Steve Fisher shared to reporters in Utah, Leonard is at least putting in the time and effort to make his shot NBA-ready, even with a lockout in full effect. Even without the benefit of proper gym lighting. (H/T: Express-News)
Leonard apparently practiced for two straight days, shooting in the arena with two lamps he brought with him.
“I had our AD call me up a couple of weeks ago when I was gone,” Fisher said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. ”He said, ‘Coach, we’ve got an issue with Kawhi in the arena. Event management called and the lights are not on, and Kawhi’s in the arena for two straight days at 6:30 in the morning. And he brought two lamps from home, and he put them up in the arena and shot.’ And that is a true story.”
Fisher’s tale underscores something the Spurs believed about Leonard from the moment they drafted him. Whatever his weaknesses are, he has the personality and the temperament to address them.
“Nobody is in the gym more than Kawhi,” Fisher said in Utah. “People said, ‘Well, can he shoot the ball?’ He can shoot the ball at the NBA level. No one’s worked harder on his shot than Kawhi.”
With this kind of work ethic, the Spurs much be itching to see how will Leonard perform in the NBA-level.
In the meantime, we can only wait and hope that his hard work translates to the court when he’s already wearing the silver and black.