We live in an age of excess where the haves and have nots are generally distinguished by their possessions and lifestyle. The majority of those who have reached a measure of intense affluence are easily detected by a lavish lifestyle including expensive vehicles, attire and habits which the average blue collar worker could not afford. Kawhi Leonard is on the fast track to stardom and greatness within the NBA, but his preference is to remain anonymous and live a humble lifestyle.
Although he's worth millions and has gained his wealth through hard work and dedication to the game of Basketball, you wouldn't be able to tell from outward appearances. Leonard is the same man that he was before reaching success in the game and a hefty bank account. He isn't after stardom, although it is an achievement. This essential player still drives around in an old truck because he claims that it is paid off and it still runs.
The 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe is the vehicle of his choice in most instances and we think that he is one of the coolest personalities in San Antonio. The Porsche that he is rumored to own must spend a lot of time sitting in the garage, because you don't see him tooling around town in it.
What he isn't
Kawhi Leonard isn't into extreme showmanship or bragging about the success he has achieved. That's just not his style. He lives as though he has a moderate income living a normal upper middle class existence, but his bank account is bulging at the seams. He doesn't brag about how amazing he is as a player, although he's earned the right. In one regard, he doesn't really have to because there are so many others who are willing to do that for him.
Who he is
Kawhi Leonard prefers the simple life. He doesn't need to surround himself with all of the luxuries that money can buy. What he does seem to need is a basketball in his backpack wherever he goes. The man has an intense love for the game and he has become one of the better players, earning Finals MVP in 2014, unofficially the best two way player in the National Basketball Association and Defensive Player of the year in 2015. We don't find him peeking out of the windows of an elaborate mansion, in fact, his summers are spent in a two bedroom apartment in San Diego where he has hung a basketball hoop to stay in practice.
Kawhi's spending habits
Kawhi is perhaps one of the most frugal multi-millionaires in the NBA. He is an active sponsor of the WingStop franchise and he uses the coupon book that they gave him as a part of the complimentary package for representing their food chain. Do we really believe that he uses the coupons to save money on his take-out orders? You bet we do. When it comes to money, he is conservative and we don't see him wasting or squandering his fortune. He's saving his money instead.
Kawhi isn't totally unique in frugality
Although rare, he does share the trait of frugality with Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz, who brings in a w hopping two and a half million a year and has limited his monthly spending budget to a mere five thousand dollars per month. In fact, this ultra wealthy superstar will occasionally go over his monthly budget amount and then compensate by cutting back on his spending for the next month. What makes these young men so ultra conservative in their spending?
We think that common sense has a lot to do with it. That and the fact that they are happy with who they are and what they achieved. There doesn't seem to be a need for either of these men to prove anything to anybody. This is the beauty of being happy with where you are in life. The love of the game is what propels these gentlemen forward and although the stardom must be nice, it isn't why they do what they do.
When Kawhi Leonard was just seven years old his mother took him to the doctor for a physical. Little did that physician know that his joking comment about Leonard's likelihood for being in the NBA would come true some twelve years later. He was a little kid with huge dreams which is not uncommon, but in Kawhi's case, he made those dreams into a reality.
Greatness versus stardom
Leaonard is the kind of guy that will tell you straight up that he doesn't like to draw attention to himself. He prefers to remain low key when it comes to social situations. He isn't into hype or flambouyancy, but he does go after the brass ring in his goal to achieve greatness as a basketball player. The major difference is that in achieving greatness, Kawhi is doing it for himself because he wants to be a great when it comes to his playing skills in the game of Basketball and stardom is not his ultimate goal. You won't find him bragging about his accomplishments on social media because that is just not his style.
After losing his father in a shooting at the tender age of sixteen, Leonard moved forward honing his athletic skills, graduating fro High school and passing up an invitation to the Nike training camp. the wasn't after the exposure and upon graduation, he played for San Diego State University over UC and USC. He was successful playing for the Aztecs and went on th play in the NCAA tournament, finally entering the NBA draft with the Spurs and ending up with the Pacers where he has enjoyed remarkable success.
We think that Kawhi Leonard is nothing short of super cool. He sets an example for the younger generation as being a humble man whose greatness is told by everybody else but him. His lack of drive for showboating and lavish lifestyles is instead funneled into becoming better at the game and maintaining a high level of personal integrity and respect for the fine human being that he has become in his life's journey.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker