Kawhi added some muscle, leads Team Leonard to victory


Earlier this month, it was reported that San Antonio Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard agreed to be the captain against Jimmer Fredette’s team. On Thursday night, the exhibition game organized by the former BYU star Fredette was fulfilled, and it was a success.

San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard lead his team to victory with 24 points.

They didn’t disappoint the 11,124 fans who turned out for a high-scoring ball game that featured so of the top rookies of the 2011 draft class.

In the end, the team captained by former San Diego State star Leonard and coached by the Aztecs’ Steve Fisher defeated Team Fredette, 140-126.

“I always knew Jimmer’s fans were crazy, but this is special,” said former UConn star Kemba Walker, who scored 23 points for Team Leonard. “I had a great time out here and could tell how much this city loves him. Credit to Jimmer.”

Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick Tobias Harris and Leonard, drafted 15th overall by San Antonio, led the winners with 24 points each.

While Nolan Smith, the 21st overall pick for Portland, led Fredette’s team with 30 points and 13 assists.

Fredette had 27 points and 10 assists on 9-of-20 shooting, including a few patented stop-and-pop 3-pointers.

When it was over, he walked off to one final standing ovation.

Like the others, he didn’t know when he’d get a chance to suit up as a pro again, what with labor talks at a standstill and training camp and preseason games about to be canceled.

“This was a good measuring stick for us,” Fredette said of the exhibition.

“Now it is kind of a waiting game. You just work as hard as you can and stay in shape. … That’s pretty much all you can do. It will be a long offseason,” he said. “You have to try to get in game shape because when it does start, we’re going to go right into it.”

Also, Fredette got a taste of NBA talent as he saw a few shots in the lane swatted away by guys like the 6-9 Bismack Biyombo, the No. 7 overall pick of the Charlotte Bobcats and the highest-drafted player competing.

The game marked the professional debut for many top rookies stuck between college careers and the NBA.

Leonard, whose duels with Fredette the past two seasons raised the profile of the Mountain West Conference.

But like the others, Leonard showed he had been doing whatever it takes to be ready when, and if, the season ever starts.

He even showed up recently on consecutive mornings at the Aztecs’ practice facility in San Diego with two lights from home because the building was still dark in the offseason.

“It wasn’t like arena lighting, but it was enough for us to see the rim,” said Leonard, who has added about 15 pounds of muscle.

He, like the others, now were headed back home, to college campuses or private workout facilities, instead of NBA camps.

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5 thoughts on “Kawhi added some muscle, leads Team Leonard to victory

  1. Robby;
    Good to hear Kawhi, is proving to be a draft choice that is taking nothing for granted. He might become something SPECIAL K2. Now I just wanted to pick your brain and see if you can come up with a logical list of players that might become available if amnesty does comes about with the new CBA. Players and Team, and maybe why they became expandable?

    • Joe, Kawhi becoming Special K 2.0 would be nice. Good Idea you about the list of players but maybe I’ll do it at later time, especially if the amnesty provision is close to being approved just waiting for the right timing.

      But if I would do it, I’ do it per division most likely. Thanks everyone for the comments and reads.

  2. It will be interesting to see if he can be like that when the real games begin, I’m excited to see Kawhi in Spurs action!

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