The 39-year-old isn't exactly sure why he's part of the select few that the All-NBA forward chooses to follow and he's never asked Leonard about it. But Crawford did tell Leonard that he was a fan of his long before the California native's rise to stardom and believes that stuck with the Los Angeles Clippers superstar.
"Before everybody knew Kawhi Leonard, I had seen him when he was just a rookie and he was barely playing," Crawford told Arshan Jawaid of Kids Take Over. "When I say that, I mean I saw he was going to be a star ... to be honest, I can't even say it was to this level. But I just knew he would be a star.
"I could see it. I loved how he played. I loved his game. And so I think with that, he remembered that I thought (highly) about him and liked his game before everybody else."
Leonard averaged 7.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 steals across 64 appearances during his 2011-12 rookie campaign with the San Antonio Spurs. He has since then transformed into arguably the top two-way player in the Association, winning Defensive Player of the Year twice and earning NBA All-Defensive first-team honors three times.
Leonard won his second NBA title and Finals MVP award with the Toronto Raptors this past season. He signed a three-year, $103-million contract with his hometown Clippers this offseason but can opt out after the 2020-21 campaign.