Leonard was fond of the phrase "board man gets paid" as he led San Diego State to NCAA tournament appearances

By Michael Shapiro
June 06, 2019

Kawhi Leonard isn't much of a talker, but the Raptors' star reportedly said enough during his time at San Diego State to warrant a catch phrase. 

The Athletic's Jayson Jenks released an oral history of Leonard's two-year stint at San Diego State on Tuesday, including a few notable lines from Leonard's college days. And one phrase has stood as a cut above the rest since Jenks' story was released: "board man gets paid."

"If I heard it once, I heard it 50 times. 'Board man. I'm a board man,'" assistant coach Justin Houston told Jenks. "That's what he said. Absolutely. 'I'm a board man. Yeah, I'm a board man. Board man gets paid.' He spoke in phrases like that."

Leonard explained the phrase on Wednesday night following the Raptors' Game 3 win over the Warriors in the NBA Finals. 

“I used to say that back when I was in high school and college. You know, just wanting to get to this league," Leonard said. "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."

The 2014 Finals MVP has certainly been a board man this postseason. Leonard is averaging 30.9 points and nine rebounds per game in the playoffs, shooting 49.8% from the field. 

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