Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard has great take on pressures of NBA Finals

By Vincent Frank
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors failed to close out the NBA Finals at home in Game 5 Monday night.

Instead, hot late shooting from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors sent this one back to Oakland for Game 6.

Pressure could very well be mounting for the Raptors here. They must win the final game ever at Oakland’s Oracle Arena in order to prevent a Game 7 this coming weekend.

Acting the part of the calm influence he’s been throughout the season, Kawhi Leonard doesn’t seem to be too concerned. In fact, he put the pressures of the NBA Finals in context.

“Being 27, this young, you shouldn’t be stressing in life about things that really don’t matter,” Leonard said. “As long as your family is healthy, you’re able to see the people that you love and you’re able to walk, run, you’re not injured.”

That’s some pretty strong stuff from Leonard right there. The game is important. But there’s a lot more to focus on outside of basketball. Some fans and media seem to forget that.

Leonard’s comments also come after Warriors star Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles from an injury he suffered in Game 5. That’s about the closest to a real life case study as we could get.

A series that started with a ton of stories on the court has morphed into one with drama and intrigue off the court.

Still, Leonard remains above it all. He’s the calming influence. Toronto will need that in front of what promises to be the most electric Warriors fan base we’ve ever seen Thursday evening.