According to ESPN.com Kawhi Leonard averaged 30 points and 9 rebounds per game during his monstrous run in this year’s NBA playoffs, a performance that helped deliver the Toronto Raptors their first ever championship. If you’re not a sports fan don’t click away to another page just yet. Because it’s not merely this sheer athletic performance that has captured the admiration of so many fans, its Leonard’s attitude. Plenty of players are capable of erupting into an explosive tear, particularly when the championship is on the table. These athletes are professionals, that’s what they are paid to do and many of them will let you know this fact. It doesn’t take much time browsing google or social media to find a basketball star arrogantly letting the press know how good they really are. Already an NBA champion and Finals MVP with the Spurs (2014) Kawhi recently started to gain viral attention this postseason thanks not only to a dramatic buzzer beater in game seven against the Philadelphia 76ers, but also after some of his favorite sayings from college re-emerged to hit the internet. One of those sayings?
“Board man gets paid.” The board Kawhi is referring to here is a rebound. This is a man who prides himself on hard work in all aspects of his craft, it’s not only about the game winners, the ankle breakers, or even the rim rattling dunks. Rebounds win basketball games time and time again. Somebody gets one every possession, but they are not easy to come by. It requires attention and poise while away from the ball, it requires boxing out and struggling against the other players on the court. But when the ball comes off the rim and hangs in the air are you there? Are you ready to pounce and secure it? Stay humble and work like a board man. You are not always going to get noticed, you’re rarely going to be showered with praise. But why should you? You’re doing your job. And if you do it right you will undoubtedly be rewarded in more ways then one. It’s not only in the sport of basketball that the board man gets paid.