Former NBA commissioner David Stern tragically past away this past week at the age of 77. Stern was known for his incredible work with the NBA that saw the league become a global brand. Stern helped make the league what it is today and numerous players paid their respects to the man who pioneered a whole era. If you ever dreamt about playing in the NBA, Stern was always a part of that dream as he would be the man you shake hands with on your draft day. This fantasy is something Kawhi Leonard knows all too well.
According to Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points, Leonard was recently asked about Stern’s impact and his memories of the former commish. As the Clippers star explained, he always thought about walking across the draft day stage and shaking Stern’s hand. Luckily for Kawhi, it was a fantasy he got to live out.
“Just knowing that if I really wanted to get here, I would have to shake his hand to be able to enter the league… I got the opportunity to do that and meet him,” Leonard said.
Leonard was drafted 15th overall by the Indiana Pacers in 2011. Since then, he has enjoyed a successful career that includes two NBA titles with two different teams. Stern was a part of Leonard’s dream which just goes to show what kind of impact the commissioner had.