Board man got his number retired.
Before smothering NBA ball handlers and draining big shots in the Finals, Kawhi Leonard spent two seasons as a San Deigo State Aztec. He led the team in scoring and rebounding both seasons — and led the team to the NCAA Tournament both seasons — before deciding to try his luck in the NBA. That decision has worked out pretty well for the two-time NBA champion and two-time Finals MVP.
Saturday night, Leonard returned to the San Deigo State Aztec campus to have his number retired — and the arena sold out to witness it.
Leonard flew below the radar out of high school but started to show his skills and team leadership ability as an Aztec, leading San Diego to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament his second season. Leonard turned pro after that season, was drafted 15th by the Pacers (who traded him and with Davis Bertans to San Antonio for George Hill).
Paul George and the other Clippers came down for the night after the Clippers had beaten the Timberwolves earlier in the day, paced by Leonard’s 31 points. Here is the entire ceremony from Saturday night.
Leonard is the best NBA player to come out of San Diego State, although the gritty Michael Cage might still be the best rebounder the school ever produced.