The biggest surprise of the 2019 off-season was Kawhi Leonard going to the Los Angeles Clippers. The rumors tying him to the Los Angeles Lakers kept growing stronger, and because of that, the Lakers didn’t even sign any notable names. Then, out of the blue, the Clippers signed Leonard and traded for Paul George soon. With this duo, the Clippers were ready to compete again.
At the Clippers, Leonard was joined by a determined set of individuals in Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, and Montrezl Harrell. Beverley is always termed as one of the most hard-working players. So him appreciating Leonard’s work just asserts the Klaw’s reputation. While speaking to JJ Redick on his podcast, Beverley said during the pandemic, he couldn’t do much with restrictions in the state so he decided to call up his teammates.
“Let call Kawhi. I go down there and worked out with him. I thought I was a guy who worked hard when I left there, working hard was a very different mindset to what I thought I had. Working out with that man change my whole life, changed my whole game. He’s a human-machine.”
Leonard’s work ethic is second to none. He has always prioritized working hard in the background over being in the spotlight. This has led to a few robot jokes on the internet. Back in April 2017, David Fizdale said, “I think he bleeds antifreeze or something.”
Can Kawhi Leonard lead the Clippers to a title?
The Clippers arrived in Orlando last week, but Leonard flew in just a few days back, due to family matters. At his first press conference in the bubble, he talked about his approach for the upcoming playoffs.
“You usually have three months and then come in for a training camp, have a couple (of) practices, then you’ve got the preseason games,” Leonard said. “That’s pretty much the mindset. But (as) everybody knows, you only get eight games to get ready for the postseason. Everybody knows their body and knows what they need to do. It’s going to be my first practice today, so we’re going to go out and see how I feel and then just go from there, just keep building off of that. But nobody knows.”
Out of the 64 regular-season games so far, Leonard has only played 51. With him dealing with load management throughout the season, it will be interesting to see how many games he participates in. He knows he cannot afford to lose out on many games, considering the long hiatus. Coach Doc Rivers will certainly be keeping an eye on Leonard’s fitness, as they aim to win their first-ever championship in franchise history.
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