Kawhi Leonard became the third-youngest Finals MVP in NBA history, after his marvelous performances in the last three games of the NBA Finals helped the San Antonio Spurs make quick work of the Miami Heat. Appropriately, Leonard graces the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated. However, the image SI editors chose is not one of him playing suffocating defense, lining up for three, or even one of his highlight reel dunks.
Instead, editors chose a snapshot of what would have been easily the greatest moment of the 2014 Finals — if Leonard had been able to complete the play. In the closing seconds of the third quarter in Game 4, Leonard went up for a flush on Chris Anderson to put an exclamation point on the eventual 107-86 blowout win. Alas, Birdman was having none of that, and fouled Leonard, robbing us of a potential all-time poster.