On Saturday night, the San Antonio Spurs beat the New Orleans Pelicans to secure a 3-0 record. In doing so, they helped two time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard set an incredible record of his own.
The game marked Leonard’s 300th professional game, and his 235th win. That’s the best record across 300 games for an individual player in the history of the NBA.
After the game, in which Leonard led an amazing 3rd quarter stretch to all but secure the win, interviews flocked to ask him how he felt about the record. He was as humble as usual, one of the key reasons he fits in so well with the Spurs. Via ESPN:
“It’s the beginning of the season. We still can get better. We want to keep going, moving forward. It’s a team game. I’m going to need these guys in the playoffs to play their best basketball and be confident when they get there. [I’m] just picking and choosing where I shoot the ball, run the offense and get guys involved. I see how the defense is playing me and just go from there.”
“Just coming in, they were being very aggressive on those pick and rolls with me. Their defense was collapsing very quickly. [I was] just getting the ball very slowly, seeing how they were playing me. I just got a feel for what they were doing in the third quarter. I made some shots and kept going from there.”
Although it’s early in the season, Leonard is considered a candidate for the MVP award this season. Unsurprisingly, Leonard seems wholly uninterested in the idea:
“The only time I hear that is when I come in to the game, you know, I’ll never try to win an award. I’m out there just playing for my team. If I get noticed for my individual performance, that’s what happens. Other than that, I’m just trying to win the game.”