Everyone knows Kawhi Leonard has abnormally large hands, but during an interview with J.J. Redick on The Old Man & the Three podcast, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse explained that it’s how Lenoard uses those hands that’s the secret to his shot.
“That crazy spin comes courtesy of Leonard’s incredible 9.75 inches long and 11.25 inches wide hands,” Nurse said. “Man, you’ve seen the size of his hands and the strength in them and the way he snaps his wrists.”
A former NBA sharpshooter, Reddick remarked how many times Leonard’s shot seemed to be short only to magically drop through, such as his buzzer-beater against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.
“I would say a lot of the force is right there in his wrists and in his fingers, (it) makes that thing really turn,” said Nurse who coach Leonard for one season with the Raptors.
The 54-year-old Nurse was the first interview for Reddick’s new coaching series.
He also discussed what it’s like to go up against some of the league’s biggest stars.
“I can’t believe the kind of shape he must be in as fast as he runs; the whole game, every game,” Nurse said of Golden State’s Steph Curry. “That’s what amazed me playing them in the finals. One of the things I said over and over in that series was, ‘I know they [the Warriors] are running fast, but you [Raptors] gotta run fast too. We gotta run fast too, keep chasing them because it is like non-stop.’”
“LeBron, he seems to see and beat everyone. It is hard to make him uncomfortable. Giannis [Antetokounmpo] is really hard, [James] Harden, [Kevin] Durant.”
Nurse started his coaching career as an assistant at the University of Northern Iowa in 1989 and broke into the NBA as an assistant for the Raptors in 2013 before becoming head coach in 2018