Kawhi Leonard’s father, Mark, was shot and killed while Kawhi was in high school. The horrific incident occurred on January 18, 2008 at the car wash Mark owned in Compton, California. The NBA star used basketball to take his mind off the tragedy.
The pic below shows Kawhi holding up his 2nd NBA Finals MVP Trophy which he earned alongside his 2nd NBA Championship. Mark Leonard is seen holding up 2 fingers, practically predicting his son’s future success!
The following pic shows Kawhi’s father, Mark Leonard:
Here’s another photo of Mark. It was taken a few years before his death:
Maybe Kawhi is hesitant to team up with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers because of the depressing memories of his father’s death. Mark Leonard was murdered in Compton, 20 minutes away from the iconic STAPLES Center, the Lakers’ home arena.
The LA Times reports that Mark Leonard was 43-years-old when he was murdered. Detective Frank Salerno of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department explained that no motive was found for the shooting and no arrests were made.
One year after the murder of Mark Leonard, The LA Times revealed that the case went unsolved because of lack of cooperating among potential witness.
One Day After Mark Was Murdered, Kawhi Played In A High School Basketball Game
Kawhi played in a basketball game for Martin Luther King High School, one day after finding out that his father was murdered. After the game, Kawhi broke down and cried while hugging his mother, Kim Robertson. That was one of the first and only times Kawhi expressed emotions.
“My Dad Is Dead”
Kawhi’s mother picked him up from a basketball game and told him that his father was murdered during the ride home. Him and his brother were in the car and Kawhi responded “My dad is dead.”
Kawhi’s mother explains that she never saw Kawhi suffer from his father’s death. He kept his emotions hidden and never used his father’s death as an excuse. Instead, Kawhi focused on his game and would eventually become one of the best players in the NBA.
Kawhi And His Father Were Very Close
Kawhi and his father had a wonderful relationship. ESPN explains that Mark and Kawhi hung out all the time. Mark trained Kawhi and he frequently took him to the car was he owned.
In the video above, Kawhi explains that he stopped thinking about his father’s death as he got older. Losing his dad thought him to value life and stop stressing about things that don’t matter because tomorrow is not promised.
Joe Budden Disrespects Kawhi’s Father
Joe Budden was recently dragged for referring to Kawhi’s dad as a “killer.” The Source explains that Budden discussed the street activity that Mark Leonard was allegedly involved in prior to his death.
The tweet below calls Joe Budden out for falsely depicting Mark Leonard as a criminal:
What do you think about the death of Kawhi Leonard’s father? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Jason John is based in Maryland and covers Empire BBK’s News and Entertainment. He was previously a producer for the mobile site, helping to present Empire BBK’s news report to readers. More