Kendrick Perkins Believes Kawhi Leonard’s Similarity with Steph Curry Led to LA Clippers’ Failure

Published 12/21/2020, 9:54 AM CST
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)


Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers had one of the biggest choke jobs in the 2020 postseason. They blew a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semi-finals against Denver Nuggets. But was it because of the laid-back leadership of their superstar Kawhi?

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Over the years, Kawhi has proved himself to be an amazing player. No one can argue about his game and dedication on the court. However, when it comes to being a vocal locker room presence. This is not someone who Kawhi is.

Kendrick Perkins points out why Kawhi Leonard is not the leader for LA Clippers

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Dec 11, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives past Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews to the basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins elaborated more on this in ESPN’s First Take.

A leader is more than just playing basketball Max [Kellerman]. A leadership is everything, making everybody comfortable, everybody whole. Being able to address situations when things are not going well for you, but things are going well for the team. That’s a real leader.

Kawhi Leonard is not pulling no one to the side. If Reggie Jackson is through a shooting slump or having a bad 10 games. You think Kawhi Leonard is pulling Reggie Jackson to the side and having a conversation with him? Hell no! Paul George is.”

Perkins further gave the description of an ideal leader for an NBA team.

A leader has to vocal. If you ask anybody around the NBA, what’s their leader in the locker room? Just like in Golden State, Steph is not their leader. Draymond Green is their leader.”

Being a leader is much more than just putting monster number on the court. The biggest problem the Clippers face as of now is not having a clearcut leader in the locker room. While most want Kawhi to become that vocal presence, that is not someone Kawhi can become.

Maybe Paul George needs to step up in that role and earn the respect of his teammates.

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What’s next for the LA Clippers?

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 24: New Clippers player Paul George speaks at a press conference at the Green Meadows Recreation Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. George and Leonard were introduced to the media and fans as the newest members of the Clippers. (Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Daily Breeze via Getty Images)

This season is extremely important for the LA Clippers. They need to make a deep playoff run, otherwise their team can break up. The organization already secure PG13 by signing him on a humongous deal. But Kawhi Leonard can still opt out of his player option after this season.

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All things considered, the organization have to make a deep playoff run this year. They need to prove their critics wrong and convince Kawhi to stay. It will be like hitting two birds with one stone.

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Aikansh Chaudhary

771 articles

Aikansh Chaudhary is an NBA columnist for Essentially Sports. Previously, he helped rank various websites using the latest SEO techniques, and wrote over 2000 articles during his stint as a freelance writer. A die hard Lakers fan, Aikansh will forever uphold LeBron James as the GOAT.

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