By Chris Johnson
June 16, 2014
Kawhi Leonard was named MVP of the 2014 NBA Finals.
(John W. McDonough/SI)

Just minutes after becoming the third-youngest Most Valuable Player in NBA Finals history, Kawhi Leonard reflected on the significance of winning his first championship on Father’s Day.

"It is a very special meaning for me knowing that he's gone and I was able to win a championship on Father's Day," Leonard said Sunday night. "But, I mean, I'm just happy just winning the championship.  Like I told you all, my dad died six years ago, and I really wasn't thinking about him that much."

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When Leonard was a junior in high school, his father, Mark, 43, was shot and killed at the car wash he owned in Los Angeles. No arrest has been made in connection with the shooting and no motive has been identified.

"Basketball helps me take my mind off things, picking me up every day when I'm feeling down," Leonard told the Los Angeles Times a couple of months after the shooting.

A detective from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told the Times in 2009 that there’s a “good chance” the case will not be resolved due to a lack of cooperation from witnesses.

More NBA Finals Coverage

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MANNIX: Spurs get ultimate revenge by dismantling Heat in Finals

Spurs' Leonard named Finals MVP | 'Special' to win on Father's Day

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