Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

Though often described as robotic and unemotional, Kawhi Leonard is actually one of the funniest players in the league. From his well-documented laugh, to his dry one-liners in interviews, he has an entire comedy reel that would be difficult for anyone else to match. 

It comes as little surprise, then, that he was involved in one of the most humorous scenarios in the bubble this summer. In a wide-ranging story in GQ Magazine, Taylor Rooks detailed her time inside Disney World with the players, and shared a number of great anecdotes, and perhaps the best was about Leonard and his former boss, Masai Ujiri. 

As it turned out, the Raptors president was staying in the room directly above Leonard, and kept waking up the former Finals MVP with a rigorous workout routine every morning. Eventually, Leonard joked that he was going to have Ujiri kicked out of the bubble:

For example, every day at 5 a.m., inside room 950 in the Gran Destino (where all the top-seeded teams stayed), Masai Ujiri would wake up, read his book, hop on the Peloton, and work out before heading down for breakfast. He thought nothing of his daily ritual until one morning, several weeks into the bubble, when he got a text from another former player of his: “Morning boss, you good up there?”

The text was from Kawhi Leonard—Finals MVP with the Raptors, now a star on the Clippers—who was staying in room 850, directly below his old boss. Ujiri had been waking Kawhi up with his noisy workouts for weeks, but Kawhi was reluctant to say anything.

Ujiri told Kawhi that he would stop for the time being and joked that he would continue again when the Raptors met the Clippers in the Finals, messing with Kawhi’s sleep. Kawhi responded with the kind of trash talk that’s best read aloud in Kawhi’s dry monotone: “Haha, you know the saying ‘Don’t poke the bear’? I’m gonna call the NBA on you…get you out the bubble.”

Amazing. Just a peak Kawhi Leonard story. The deadpan, one-line text is so perfect and funny that there really isn’t much else to add. 

It was a bit ironic, also, that after all the fuss last offseason, and Kawhi’s dramatic move from the Raptors to the Los Angeles Clippers, both teams were eliminated at the same point in the playoffs. In fact, given the Clippers’ embarrassing collapse against the Denver Nuggets, you could make a case that the Raptors actually had the better run. 

In any case, what a terrific story. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for more funny moments from the fun guy. 

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