Patrick Beverley Defends Kawhi Leonard, Paul George Amid Claims Of Lack Of Leadership In LA Clippers

Published 12/07/2020, 9:00 AM EST


Patrick Beverley minced no words about the LA Clippers losing a 3-1 lead in the 2020 NBA playoffs. The Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets after having a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semi-finals. The Clippers were one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship but lost out on their chance.

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Many have questioned the lack of leadership exhibited by their star players, such as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. However, Patrick Beverley spoke to the press on his media day and suggested that it wasn’t the lack of leadership that was the downfall for the Clippers, but it was the lack of mental toughness.

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Beverley said, “I don’t think it’s leadership ([hat’s lacking]. I think anything involving you being up real big and losing. You win the lottery, you win a lot of money and then you lose it, that’s not a lack of leadership. That’s lack of some level of toughness, mental toughness.” 

Patrick Beverley talks about a lack of mental toughness

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Beverley said that the team has many players for leadership, but it was the lack of mental toughness to finish the job during the game. He added, “And that’s what we have to address. Our leaders are Kawhi (Leonard), PG, myself, and Lou (Williams) and Marcus Morris also. Now you insert (Serge) Ibaka. But (blowing) a 3-1 lead is not lack of leadership, I think that’s just lack of mental toughness to go out there and finish the job.” 

Beverley believes that mental toughness needs to be built within the roster through repetitions and hard works. He said, “Just put yourself in more situations to be mentally tough. I don’t know- if you do 10 reps of 200 (pound) bench press, do 12. That’s how you build mental toughness. Now when you get into the trenches and things aren’t going right, you have something to build off of.” 

Beverley concluded that the loss to the Nuggets and losing the lead the way they did will help them build up their mental toughness. He added, “Collectively as a group, mental toughness was the key. And being in the situation losing 3-1 gives you mental toughness going into the next season, so that’s the process.”

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It will be interesting to see if the Clippers can bounce back from their disappointing playoff run last season. They play the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers on the opening day of the 2020 NBA season.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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