Kawhi Leonard ‘Inspired by Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant’ to Play New Offense Strategy with LA Clippers

Published 12/22/2020, 8:30 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 20: L.A. Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard celebrates donation of One Million backpacks from Baby2Baby, Kawhi Leonard and the L.A. Clippers to students across Los Angeles at 107th Street Elementary on August 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)


There are many players in the NBA who try to emulate the legendary Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. They were scoring geniuses who could win games for their teams alone and come up with the goods in clutch moments. So the LA Clippers want Kawhi Leonard to do the same for them, too.

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On being asked how much he has studied and learned from Michael and Kobe over the years, Kawhi said, “I mean a lot. They’re one of the best basketball players to play in the NBA. And you know, now I watch pretty much everybody but you know those guys were able to get to their spots, lead their teams to championships and you know, that’s something that inspires me.”

INGLEWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 1: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends against Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls on February 1, 1998 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1998 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kawhi Leonard on Clippers’ new triangle offense

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New coach Tyronn Lue is not joking around either. He is building the team to iron out the same plays from Leonard as his two idols. Jordan and Bryant all combined 11 of their championships under Phil Jackson. And Phil’s team used the triangle offense designed by his assistant, Tex Winter.

The style is so popular that former Chicago Bulls guard Steve Kerr employs it with the Golden State Warriors, and it has proven its success. And Kawhi is happy to accept it as long as the team is winning.

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“It’s been good, you know, as long as there’s a team concept to it. It’s not just, you know, focusing on me scoring. You know, it’s just about movement pretty much. Not keeping everybody just stagnant and in the mud,” Kawhi continued“So, you know, as long as it’s gonna help us win games… I think it will, and we’ll just what happens with it pretty much. But you know so far so good; nobody is complaining about it. Now it’s just time to carry over to games and get better at it.”

LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrates with Lou Williams against the Dallas Mavericks during the third quarter in game six of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Will the triangle offense work for the Clippers like it did for the Bulls, Lakers, and the Warriors? Or will they tank with it? One thing is for sure – they are more serious about their business than last season. Building their plays around Kawhi is quintessential if they want to get their hands on the Larry O’Brien trophy.

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Bharat Aggarwal

672 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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