Kawhi Leonard apparently knows how to make the most of his time off.
A video capturing viral attention on Twitter claims to show the former NBA Finals MVP enjoying himself in a strip club as naked women danced around him. The video, which has not been verified, has spread quickly across social media and reached the top of the link-sharing site Reddit. Many noted that the video appeared to be taken before a career-best game on Friday, the first triple-double for the Los Angeles Clippers star.
The video quickly gained traction in sports media as well, with Total Pro Sports reporting on the stir it caused and the many reactions people had on social media. It would normally not seem unusual for an NBA player to enjoy a night out with teammates --- even to a strip club --- but Leonard has kept a very low public profile and a stoic demeanor. The video showing a man tossing dollar bills into the air would seem out of character for Leonard, many commented.
Other pictures soon emerged from the outing, with other witnesses confirming that it was Kawhi in attendance with teammate Patrick Beverly. The pictures were tagged to a popular gentleman's club in Atlanta, meaning the video would likely have been taken at some point before or after the Clippers' loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
Another person took to Twitter to share a picture of what appeared to be Leonard and Beverly sitting together enjoying the entertainment, and another picture seemed to more clearly show Leonard wearing a New Balance hoodie, the same worn by the person in the viral video. Leonard is one of the most high-profile athletes signed with New Balance.If it was indeed Kawhi Leonard in the viral video, then the night out may have been a big help in his game. After the loss to the Hawks, the Clippers bounced back with a 122-117 win over the Miami Heat on Friday. In the game, Leonard notched the first triple-double of his career, with 33 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
As ESPN reported, Leonard was awarded the game ball in the locker room after the game but was quick to give credit to his teammates.
"It's because of y'all," Leonard said. "Y'all made shots. So that's all a triple-double is."
Later, speaking to reporters, Leonard said that while he was happy with the honor, he was even happier that his team got the win.