The New Leader of the San Antonio Spurs
This summer, Tim Duncan retired from professional basketball, ending one of the greatest careers the NBA has ever seen and leaving the San Antonio Spurs without their de facto leader. With that in mind, one of the biggest questions coming into the season was who would step in to fill what had been Duncan’s role for pretty much the entirety of his 19-year career.
Now, everyone knew going into the season that it would have to be 2-time defending Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard who would have to step up to the plate, but people have always had questions about his ability to do so. However, last night’s blowout of the Golden State Warriors in Oakland showed Leonard newfound ability to be a leader. As Skip Bayless said earlier today, Leonard exhibited a “killer instinct” that NBA fans haven’t seen yet from the Spurs star.
It was overshadowed by the fact that the Warriors lost on opening night at home by 29 points, something that rarely ever happens nowadays, but Kawhi Leonard’s career high performance shows that it’s now impossible to not acknowledge his standing as one of the league’s top players.
The simple fact that the Spurs embarrassed the Warriors in the way they did, leading by 11 after the first quarter and never looking back, simply proves that the Spurs have not lost anything and will continue to be a force in the NBA for years to come. As for Kawhi Leonard, the league had better be ready for its newest superstar, because he surely is.