Before Kawhi Leonard became a seemingly emotionless robot and one of the best players in the world, he was a trash talker and a pretty decent baller. In 2011, Kawhi Leonard faced off against Jimmer Fredette and said some nasty things to him.
Kawhi Leonard vs Jimmer Fredette
In a duel between San Diego State and BYU, Kawhi and Jimmer faced off in a hotly-anticipated match between the nation’s No.4 and No.9 ranked schools. Fredette powered BYU to a convincing 71-58 win. The sharpshooting guard coasted to 43 points.
Months later, however, Leonard and San Diego got their revenge — also in a convincing fashion. Kawhi dropped 22 points and 15 rebounds in a dominant 72-54 win. Seconds before the final buzzer, with the game already decided, commentators noticed that Kawhi was in Fredette’s face, apparently uttering smack talk to the BYU stalwart.
Fredette revealed that Kawhi did talk some trash but wasn’t willing to venture into the specifics. Instead, he congratulated Leonard and San Diego for getting their revenge.
“You know, he just said some things,” said Jimmer, who scored a game-high 30 in the loss and won MVP of the tournament. “I’m not going to repeat anything that he said. But he was excited that they won. He decided to say some things. I’m not going to back down. I said a couple of things as well, then we were done. We went forward,” per Ballislife.com.
The NBA life
Months after their heated duel, Fredette and Leonard entered the NBA. As we all know, the two trekked very different paths. Fredette had a subpar tenure with the Sacramento Kings for two and a half seasons before jumping from team to team. After three stellar seasons with the Shanghai Sharks, Fredette attempted an NBA comeback but failed. The last time NBA fans saw him donning an NBA jersey was in the 2018-19 season with the Suns.
Leonard, for his part, quickly bloomed into Gregg Popovich’s system. Right from the get-go, Kawhi found a role as a defensive stopper and rebounder. In his third year in the league, he won his first NBA Championship and the NBA Finals MVP trophy.
Given how their basketball careers turned out, it makes it all the more interesting to find out what Kawhi whispered to Jimmer. Did Kawhi say something so evil that Jimmer’s talent disappeared? This could be the reason why Kawhi keeps quiet most of the time. Every time he opens his mouth, venom spews into his opponents, paralyzing them for life.