Against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Feb. 13th, 2013, Leonard finished the game with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The most important thing that Leonard did in this game was hitting a three-pointer with 2.9 seconds left. Keep in mind that San Antonio had a couple of future hall-of-famers in Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, who suited up for this game. However, the game-winning shot went to Leonard.
This speaks volumes. For starters (pun intended), Duncan and Parker are not selfish superstars who need the ball in crunch time. They are comfortable with another teammate getting the spotlight.
We should also note that Leonard is a second-year player who is coming into his own. Other franchises may not have given him the opportunity to shine like San Antonio, and this is paying off for both parties. Leonard is not a fly-by-night act – he is the “real deal.” His 15 minutes is actually the beginning of a long career with San Antonio.
Last season, San Antonio played Leonard at three positions: shooting guard, small forward and power forward. I think that Leonard has found a home at the small forward position. The emergence of Danny Green at the shooting guard position has given rise to this opportunity for Leonard to shine as a small forward. His skill set is ideal for this position. As long as he stays healthy, Leonard will be a mainstay in the starting lineup for San Antonio.
I expect for him to be face of the franchise in the near future; that is, after Duncan, Ginobili and Parker are gone.