The San Antonio Spurs aren't the only team Kawhi Leonard left in 2018.
After landing with the Toronto Raptors via trade in July, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year found a new home in the apparel industry this week, according to Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes, striking a multi-year endorsement deal with New Balance.
Set to be the face of New Balance Basketball as part of the partnership, Leonard turned down an extension with Nike's Jordan Brand in order to "become a sneaker free agent" earlier in the year, per Haynes. And now, 16 games into his post-San Antonio NBA career, the two-time All-Star has embraced a shoe brand that's often viewed as a step or three below basketball staples like Nike and Adidas.
Because the move is unorthodox and because it's Kawhi Leonard (a notably boring superstar) joining New Balance (a notably boring shoe brand), Twitter absolutely could not contain itself after the news broke:
Perfect brand for him considering he’s the most boring person on Earth— Heat 3x (@Jbazo5D) November 28, 2018
My dad is stoked— Mr. Moe (@hornswogale) November 28, 2018
If you listen to him talk this is on brand— MB (@babyitsmb) November 28, 2018
Kawhi the most New Balance human on this planet— Nick Yoko (@nickyokoyama) November 28, 2018
congratulations to kawhi on joinging the new balance family as their second choice after gordon hayward.— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) November 28, 2018
Kawhi gonna release the New Balance "Are you members of this gym?" 2s— Kofie (@KofieYeboah) November 28, 2018
Leonard and the Raptors host the Warriors in an anticipated matchup Thursday night (8 p.m. ET, available on fuboTV). Be sure to keep an eye on Leonard's footwear.