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Kawhi Leonard Can Smile Now

The Spurs forward got a software update, and we got our hands on the press release

Getty Images/Ringer illustration
Getty Images/Ringer illustration

After a long summer of topless championship parades, free-agency meetings in the Hamptons, Snapchat mishaps, and gold medals, the NBA is finally, truly, really, almost back. The start of training camp marks the beginning of our NBA Preview.

This is Squad Goals Week. We’re looking at a bunch of teams and asking one question: What constitutes success for this franchise?

Shortly after the San Antonio Spurs concluded their preseason media day, images leaked that suggested a game-changing update to the San Antonio system. Monday, the Spurs confirmed our suspicions with the following press release.

The Spurs Introduce iLeonardOS Plus — the Best, Most Advanced iLeonardOS Ever for the Kawhi Leonard

Includes a Breakthrough New iEmotions System, As Well As iConversation, iHugs and iSecrets

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs today announced that iLeonardOS Plus, the latest update to the world’s most advanced basketball-android operating system, is now available for the 2017 season. iLeonardOS Plus provides significant upgrades to the Kawhi Leonard, offering the traditional features users know and love from the San Antonio Spurs organization, along with all-new capabilities designed for use on the basketball court, as well as nonbasketball environments.

“iLeonardOS Plus is the most humanistic Kawhi Leonard operating system we have ever made. It is better in every single way, and in every single form. We’re talking about generating emotions within a circuit box, basically. There are moments in your life when you know you’ve had a hand in something exceedingly special. This — outfitting a Kawhi Leonard with the ability to smile — is one of those moments,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.

“What? Leave me alone,” said Gregg Popovich, coach of the Spurs.

The most exciting of these developments is iEmotions, a joint venture between Apple and the Spurs. It is the pair’s most revolutionary breakthrough yet. iEmotions allows the Kawhi Leonard to express four simulated emotions, including “anger,” “sadness,” “distress,” and “happiness,” outfitting the Kawhi Leonard with the most lifelike and realistic automated response program yet. It is a marked advancement from iStare, the program that preceded iEmotions, which featured only “stern stare,” “empty stare,” “cold stare,” “warm stare,” “consoling stare,” “blank stare,” and “regular stare.” The Kawhi Leonard can now queue up to three different simulated emotions within iEmotions at a time, creating the illusion of emotional depth and range.

“Anger” makes the cathartic experience of basketball more convenient and secure than ever. The Kawhi Leonard can now perform “anger” in every basketball and nonbasketball setting, including the AT&T Center, opposing arenas, grocery stores, banquet halls, flower shops, Luby’s restaurants, and many, many more locations.

“Happiness” is the most complex and most auspicious iEmotion yet, as it will for the first time ever allow for regular-smile compatibility with the Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs rolled out the iEmotions beta program to great success over the past month, which included the time when an updated Kawhi Leonard smiled while sitting next to a wealthy white man, generating great fanfare on the internet:

(Source: <a href="">Twitter</a>)
(Source: Twitter)

(There are still several bugs that need to be worked out with the iOutfits system within the iLeonardOS. The Spurs anticipate that the problems with iOutfit will be a longer-term issue, which should come as no surprise given that they were never able to get it correct within the iDuncanOS.)

“We are very excited with how expressive and animated the new iLeonardOS Plus update has made the Kawhi Leonard,” said president of business operations Rick Pych. “I’m looking at him, and I know that there is machinery behind his eyes, but there are moments when I’m able to forget that. It’s a truly remarkable achievement. Did you see Ex Machina? It’s kind of like that, except but with less robot sex.”

A secondary setting within “happiness” allows for a toggling of the amount of teeth shown during a smile, yet another example of the ingenuity and forward modernization that Apple and the Spurs have pioneered. In the above image, the teeth setting was set to “zero,” which provides a knowing, casual smile. In the below image, it is set to “top teeth,” which is good for parties and births of babies and other celebratory instances:

(Source: <a href="">Twitter</a>)
(Source: Twitter)

And in this image, it is set to “all teeth”:

(Source: <a href="">Twitter</a>)
(Source: Twitter)

Beta testers have expressed concern that the “all teeth” setting is still too unnatural looking. “It looks like the Kawhi Leonard is in pain, or like if a wolf were laughing at its own joke,” one tester said.

Similar secondary settings are expected to be included for the other iEmotions in future iLeonardOS Plus updates.

Other great new features of the iLeonardOS Plus include:

  • iConversation: The Kawhi Leonard can now respond to voice commands in a more nuanced and natural way, including an automated “Oh, really?” response whenever it detects that you have completed your thought. It’s a great leap forward from the previous version, in which you would say a thing and then the Kawhi Leonard would respond by staring at you while preventing you from moving in a straight line to the basket.
  • iHugs: The Kawhi Leonard can now give a version of a hug, though there have been reported issues with the hugs, including that gadgetry in the Kawhi Leonard’s chest gives off too much heat for the hugs to be comfortable. Additionally, one beta tester said it felt like he “was being picked up by one of those crane machine claws.” Both of these concerns will be addressed.
  • iSecrets: The Kawhi Leonard now features a privacy setting that allows users to hide their interactions with it, making it perfect for sharing your most personal secrets. The Kawhi Leonard also comes preprogrammed with his own secrets to share in response to yours, including “I do not like peanuts” and “One time, I strangled a man.”


iLeonardOS Plus is available as a free update starting today from the Spurs App Store. iLeonardOS Plus supports all Kawhi Leonards introduced since June 2011. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages. For more information, please visit:

Images from iLeonardOS Plus

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The Spurs revolutionized basketball technology with the introduction of the iDuncanOS in 1997. Today, the Spurs lead the world in innovation with the iGinóbiliOS, iParkerOS, iPopovichOS, and iLeonardOS. San Antonio’s four software platforms provide seamless experiences across all basketball arenas and empower people with breakthrough services including misdirection, space, ball movement, half-court traps and the pick and roll. San Antonio Spurs employees are dedicated to making the best basketball products on earth, and to leaving the basketball world better than we found it.

Press Contacts

Tim Cook

Kirk Goldsberry