Clippers’ Teammate Reveals How Kawhi Leonard Has Become More Vocal With His Leadership

Published 02/15/2021, 8:30 AM EST
Jan 29, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; LA Clippers guard Reggie Jackson (1) and forward Kawhi Leonard (2) celebrate a basket to end the third quarter against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports


During the 2019 Free Agency, the LA Clippers did whatever they could to bring in Kawhi Leonard. He ended a 24-year wait for a title for the Toronto Raptors in the previous season, and the Clippers felt he was the right man to end their wait for a title.

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In his first season in LA, things didn’t go as expected. There were locker room problems, chemistry issues, and to make it worse, they suffered a second-round embarrassment against the Nuggets. They needed Kawhi to step up as a leader, be vocal, and help them with such issues. But it didn’t happen.

However, this season, Leonard is changing his approach as a leader. According to teammate Serge Ibaka, Leonard has become more vocal this season. He said, “Yes I see him more vocal than the first year I played with, in Toronto. This year he’s talking more, he’s involved more. I can see he’s really learned from last year. He’s trying to be a good leader this year by showing example first.”

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Can Kawhi Leonard lead the Clippers to a better result this season?

The Clippers have got off to a good start, but the impeccable form of the Jazz has taken away the attention. After 28 games, they have a 20-8 record. Paul George has played only 20 games, and his absence has hurt the team. But when both he and Leonard have taken the court together, the Clippers have lost just thrice in 18 games.

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That shows how the Clippers are a force when they have their two stars playing together. Both of them are having excellent individual seasons as well. George is averaging 24 points with 50-47-90 shooting splits, while Leonard is averaging 26 points with 51-38-87 shooting splits.

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

Leonard has shown that he can lead an unfancied team like the Raptors to a title, and he will be keen to do that with the Clippers too. This change in leadership approach will be very helpful for the Clippers, especially in the playoffs. That is when the leaders of the team are most required to step up, and if Kawhi can help the team elevate their performances, they will be serious contenders.

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DIVE DEEPER

LA Clippers Head Coach Talks About Relying on Kawhi Leonard After Record Night Against Bulls

2 months ago

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Aaron Mathew

1473 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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