Clippers’ Head Coach Applauds Kawhi Leonard’s Humorous Side Following Serge Ibaka Trade Comments

Published 01/03/2021, 11:59 AM EST
Dec 25, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George (13) celebrates with forward Serge Ibaka (9) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during a timeout in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


After the humiliation the LA Clippers suffered after their premature exit from the Orlando Bubble at the hands of the Denver Nuggets, this new season has come to revamp their reputation.

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And it looked great when they opened the season with a bang, defeating their so-called rivals, the Lakers, and then getting their revenge against Denver. But it has been a rough start for their star player, Kawhi Leonard.

What came after that was a series of destructive events. Initially, Kawhi Leonard suffered a mouth laceration after teammate Serge Ibaka accidentally elbowed him. Fortunately for the Clippers, Leonard only had to sit out their next game. But this too came at a heavy cost.

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The next time anybody saw the Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks destroyed them by 51 points. This prompted a series of more reactions, perfectly encapsulating the way everyone perceives the Clippers.

These slip-ups somehow overshadow all the good they do on the floor. In fact, Kawhi himself made some controversial statements after Ibaka injured him. However, Head Coach Tyronn Lue has denied all those claims.

Dec 30, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) puts on a protect mask as he reenters the game during the second quarter at Staples Center. Leonard wore a the mask in his first game back after sustaining an injury when he was hit in the face with an elbow. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

No possibility of a Serge Ibaka trade as put across by Kawhi Leonard

It all happened in the starting few minutes of the 4th quarter. Patrick Beverley missed the shot and when Ibaka tried to go for the rebound, his elbow collided brutally with Kawhi’s jaw. Leonard was immediately on the floor in a bloody mess.

He left the game and there was absolutely no trace of his return. He had to get 8 stitches because of a man he helped recruit and with whom he has played with back in the day.

This eventually led to Kawhi joking around about Ibaka being traded off because of the incident. Although it was all in good humor, in the NBA anything is possible.

“That’s off the table. Somebody told me about it today, that’s pretty funny.”

Ty Lue says a Serge Ibaka Clippers trade is off the table, despite Kawhi Leonard’s recent comments 😂 pic.twitter.com/OdxvVVWSAx

— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) January 2, 2021

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So, the reporters thought it would be better to ask the coach himself. So, when Tyronn Lue was asked about it, he stated, “That’s off the table. Somebody told me about it today, that’s pretty funny.” Sending all the rumors back to the dumpster.

Ibaka is a much needed defensive tool. After having so many chemistry issues last season, what’s better for Kawhi Leonard than to play with the man he won a championship with. How far will the two take the Clippers? Will they finally erase the jokes surrounding them?

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Yashima Bhatia

1097 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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