Kawhi Leonard: 2014 NBA Finals MVP Has A Bright Future Ahead Of Him

Kawhi Leonard is the MVP of the 2014 NBA Finals after a breakout series for the burgeoning star.

The youngest star on the San Antonio Spurs notched a career scoring high during the series, outscoring the Miami Heat’s big name stars and shutting them down on the defensive end. When the Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in Sunday’s Game 5, clinching the team’s fifth title since 1999, it was again Leonard leading the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

The normally reticent Leonard flashed a smile as commissioner Adam Silver announced that he was NBA Finals MVP as teammates and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich mobbed him.

“Right now, it’s just surreal to me,” said Leonard, who is not known to talk about himself much. “I have a great group of guys behind me.”

Kawhi Leonard became the sixth player to be named NBA Finals MVP in a season they were not named to the All Star Game, the first since Chauncey Billups did it in 2004.

Leonard fouled out in the fourth quarter of Game 5, but by then had done his work in putting the Spurs out to a big lead and keeping LeBron James in check. As the clock was winding down, James and the Heat players went to the Spurs’ bench to congratulate their opponents, and LeBron went first to Leonard.

At age 22, Kawhi Leonard now looks to be a breakout star and could carry on the Spurs legacy after the Big 3 of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili eventually call it quits.

The Spurs longtime stars have also worked hard to bring Leonard into the player he is today.

“They just told me, ‘Keep being aggressive,’ ” Leonard said of his teammates advice in the NBA Finals.

Kawhi Leonard has now become the youngest NBA Finals MVP since 1999, when a youngster named Tim Duncan won it. Kawhi was in first grade at the time.

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