Kawhi Leonard is really, really good at basketball, but, let’s call a spade a spade, the Toronto Raptors superstar also happens to be a little bit socially awkward. That’s not meant to be a knock on the guy, it’s just that Leonard, unlike most of his NBA brethren who have reached the level of stardom he has, tends to be a bit less flashy and outgoing. However, when it comes to talking, Kawhi Leonard doesn’t really seem to be all that comfortable or interested. Maybe the dude just wants to hoop and not worry about all that outside bullshit? Who knows.
While most of us remember the incredibly strange interview Kawhi Leonard had this past summer at a news conference announcing his trade to the Raptors — in which he laughed like a movie villain after blandly rambling on to answer a question — the three-time All-Star was at it again following his team’s win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. No, Leonard didn’t have some crazy laugh, but he did answer a question with just one word for his Chinese fans: “Nĭ hăo,” which means “hello.” Impressive, right? Sort of, because he followed that up with interrupting the reporter afterward to make sure that he said the phrase right. Take a look below.
The levels of awkward in this video is perfect. You’ve got the enthusiastic and energetic reporter who seems more excited about the Raptors’ win than Kawhi Leonard does, then you’ve got the one word response, then you’ve got the reporter continuing with her segment before being distracted by the player to double-check that he delivered his message correctly Oh, and it was all done with zero emotion from Leonard. Classic.
Once people on Twitter saw the interview, they just couldn’t help but react. Take a look at what some people on social media were saying about (yet another) less-than-entertaining-but-still-awesome Kawhi Leonard interview.
I know there are much more charismatic and entertaining people in the NBA than Kawhi Leonard, but, somehow, this whole schtick works for him. It’s kind of like having the one friend who always busts out dad jokes at the worst times — everybody hates it, but there’s nothing you can do but laugh. Yep, that’s Leonard, the NBA’s version of a perfect dad joke.