Kyle Lowry Explains How Kawhi Leonard Rubbed People the Wrong Way Due to His Mentality

Published 09/02/2021, 11:32 PM EDT
Mar 24, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) reacts after scoring a basket against the San Antonio Spurs the first quarter at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Clippers were all over the place during this off season. This is because of their situation with Kawhi Leonard. He suffered an ACL injury during the playoffs, following which there were issues between the medical teams. However, he re signed with them and put an end to any rumor of leaving.

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What left everyone so confused is his quiet nature. Leonard is not a man of many words. He likes to focus on his game and help the team. Likewise, he isn’t the voice of the team. Former teammate, Kyle Lowry opened up about his nature and spoke about how he is an elite player.

Jun 6, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) moves in for a basket against Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) and center Boban Marjanovic (51) during the second half in game seven of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Kawhi Leonard a Misunderstood Superstar

While on Pull Up with CJ McCollum, Lowry spoke about the 2019 Toronto Raptors championship. Notably, he also spoke about Kawhi Leonard. Lowry said that despite his nature he is still someone who is confident on the court. In addition, Lowry also spoke about Leonard’s wanting to score.

He said: “Kawhi rubbed people the wrong way because of how he operates. He’s like, ‘Yo, give me the ball. I’ma get it done.'” You might be like, ‘Kawhi, I’m open,’ But he’s like, ‘I’m gonna get this bucket.'” You understand he’s the best basketball player on your team. Big dog gotta eat.”

He further went on to speak about how his role changed when ‘Klaw’ came in as well. While before Lowry was scoring more, he quickly switched to being a playmaker. However, he was completely fine with it. He said as long as he is putting the ball in Kawhi’s hand and he wins games, he has no issues.

May 4, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives to the basket between Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (left) and forward Stanley Johnson (5) during the third quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Likewise, in 2019, Lowry’s scoring dropped to 14 per game from 16. But, his assists went up drastically. Lowry averaged nearly 9 assists that season with Kawhi Leonard putting up 26 points per game. Now, with the ‘Klaw’ out, when can we expect to see him?

When will the ‘Klaw’ Return?

Leonard suffered a partial ACL tear during game 4 of the Utah series. Before going down Leonard was leading the Clippers averaging nearly 30 points per game. With him being no new to injuries, he is likely to miss majority of the regular season, or may even completely miss out.

With the said time of recovery at 6 months and Leonard’s history with injuries, we may see him late in the playoffs this season. However, the main question is can the Clippers power through without their superstar?

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May 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives to the basket past Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) during the first quarter in game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George redeemed himself last season as he became the leader in the playoffs. Moreover, youngsters like Terrance Mann put up some important performances as well. However, the Clippers did not pull off any major off season signings, making it really tough.

Hence, given the level of competition with improved teams around, it will be an extremely difficult task for them without their superstar. Do you think the Clippers can make the playoffs without Kawhi Leonard? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

285 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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