SAC BEE Jason Jones wrote:
Tim Duncan is much closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Manu Ginobili isn't far behind.
Tony Parker might be having his best NBA season and has been discussed as an MVP candidate.
Known for their established stars, the San Antonio Spurs are developing their next one, Kawhi Leonard. The second-year guard-forward has quickly become a trusted player with the league-leading Spurs.
"His progress has been phenomenal, mostly due to his work ethic," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He wants to be a great player.
"He's a before- and after-practice kind of guy. (Assistant coach) Chip Engelland with his shooting and (assistant coach) Chad Forcier with the development of his moves, floater, rocker step, those sort of things. They've done a great job with him, and he's just absorbed everything."
It's hardly surprising that Leonard has worked so hard. He said he developed his work ethic at King High School in Riverside.
"I wanted to be a better player and move my name up the rankings to get recruited by some colleges," Leonard said.
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The Sacramento Bee : NBA Beat: Spurs might have a star in the making in Leonard
“I asked them if it wasn't too much trouble, if I wasn't being too pushy, if they could execute what we were trying to do. And if it didn't make them too angry, if they also wanted to play some defense on the other end, that would be great.”
Kawhi has the chance to develop his game under only minor scrutiny since everyone still focuses on the Big 3.
Great attitude. Great devotion. Barring something horrible, he'll be a cornerstone for a long time.
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