Kawhi Leonard explains origin of viral 'Board man gets paid' motto

Kawhi Leonard has always been a man of few words, but The Athletic’s Jayson Jenks recently ran a story on Leonard’s college career, where one quote in particular stood out.

Leonard was fond of saying “Board man gets paid,” an ostensible reference to the virtues of hard work and securing rebounds while at San Diego State. It’s an instant favourite of ours here, too, but the Toronto Raptors superstar was quick to note that his now-popular catchphrase was a relic of the past.

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“I used to say that back when I was in high school and college. You know, just wanting to get to this league. It’s about working hard, basically, outworking the opponent. Rebounds help you win games. Big rebounds, offensive rebounds, limiting the team to one shot and that used to be our motto,” Leonard said.

Leonard’s long-standing teammate, Danny Green, also told reporters at the podium that “board man gets paid” is rooted in hard-nosed origins.

“Like he said, the board man, it's a blue collar team, and these guys did all the little things we needed to do to get a win,” Green said.

The board man himself ended up with 30 points, six assists, seven boards, two blocks and two steals in the 123-109 victory, while Green joined him on the podium after going 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.

Board man gets paid, and the Raptors will presumably give him whatever he asks for, as the team is two wins away from lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

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