Kawhi Leonard's father was tragically murdered when the Toronto Raptors superstar was just 16 years old. Since then, Leonard has achieved his goals of making it to the NBA and even winning a championship with the San Antonio Spurs back in 2014. Kawhi and the Raptors have an opportunity to win the franchise's first ever title on Thursday night and dethrone the Golden State Warriors in the process. Ahead of Thursday's game, Leonard was asked about the life-changing event in his youth and how it's affected his mindset when playing basketball.

"Once it happened, I thought about it a lot. But as I got older, I pretty much just really stopped thinking about it," Leonard explained. "It just gave me a sense and feel that life and basketball are two different things and just really enjoy your time and moments. This is basketball. Just go out there and have fun. These are going to be the best years of my life, playing this game."

Leonard has had a postseason to remember and will most likely be the NBA Finals MVP should the Raptors close out the series. This is Kawhi's first season with the team and will have to decide this Summer whether or not he wants to stay.

A championship could certainly be the deciding factor in where he ends up.

[Via]