You can go back and watch old clips of him at San Diego State, Steve Fisher milky, patrolling the sidelines. The athleticism’s impressive. The shorts are sovereign.
If I had Kawhi’s hands I would go to as many Christmas parties as I could, rifle through the coats, take out all the gloves, put them on, and stretch them till they looked like sweaters. I’d wander the earth thinking of all the ways I’m better than people. When I was bored I’d approach strangers and, with no warning, palm their faces, lift them off the ground, treat them like children.
He was built to be a defender. Draymond Green’s unbelievable on the defensive end, but after watching the both of them in series against the old Thunder, Kawhi’s just better. Durant and Westbrook, hell, even Waiters, often looked excited when Draymond wound up on them. Kawhi inspires trauma, madness.
The smiles are rare enough they trend. You could call him a robot but those things don’t radiate the tenderness he does. He often looks woozy, drunk on his own abilities. An oak tree stands in the pasture behind my childhood home. There’s no difference between it and Leonard. He covers just as much space, appears just as old. I can’t imagine him ever being a boy. Him at eight must’ve been something akin to the Tenenbaum children. His eyes ache, too.
For a man trying desperately to fade into the background he stands out like a Schlitterbahn in the desert. He’s got the best logo in the league. If he talked at all he’d have his own shoe. His palette’s the color of those yellow filament fishing lines. Deion Sanders said water covers three fourths of the earth and he covers the rest. Kawhi’s the water. People are always looking for nicknames. Call him Neptune.