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Ahead of Kawhi Leonard’s Return, Klay Thompson’s Description of Clippers Star Resurfaces

Trikansh Kher

Ahead of Kawhi Leonard’s Return, Klay Thompson’s Description of Clippers Star Resurfaces

The Los Angeles Clippers will be hosting the Dallas Mavericks for game 2 of their 1st round series in this year’s NBA playoffs. Kawhi Leonard’s status is questionable but reports claim he could make a return to the starting lineup. This wasn’t the first time Leonard’s name came up in injury talks as Kawhi continues to struggle with injuries year after year. Despite the injury struggles, Leonard always seems to appear “stoic” and “calculated”, a personality trait that has made Leonard stand out as an anomaly in the league. 

While many believe Leonard to be an outlier in the NBA community, Warriors guard Klay Thompson sees a lot of similarities between himself and Kawhi. Appearing on the popular podcast ” All The Smoke”, the four-time champion offered an interesting insight into the person that is Kawhi Leonard. Comparing their upbringing, Thompson began by saying,

” I am from Orange County, the IE( Inland Empire). We are pretty mellow. We like doing the same things. He[ Kawhi Leonard] likes to fish and he loves the ocean.” 


Thompson and Leonard, both grew up in the city of Angel’s, with Klay even crediting the city’s culture as being a contributing factor in the duo’s strong bond. While the duo might be from Los Angeles, Klay mentioned that he and Kawhi often take fishing trips together. But it would during one such trip that Thompson understood the perks of being a champion. Talking about the incident Klay said,

” I remember when they [Kawhi and Spurs] won the chip in 2014, we went out to San Diego together and this man was getting everything free…He was a king down there. Being an Aztec and all that, but Kawhi is a living legend man.” 

Thompson’s trip to San Diego seems to have lit a fire under the Splash Brother, as Klay and the Warriors secured the Larry O’Brien the following season itself. The 2015 Championship kicked off the Warriors dynasty, as Golden State quickly added 2 more rings to their tally. But in a surprising turn of events, Leonard would lead Toronto to the 2019 NBA Finals, where the Canadian team faced off against Thompson and the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors. 

Klay Thompson made fun of Kawhi Leonard during The Finals 

The 2019 NBA Finals was a roller coaster ride. Entering game 5 at home, the Warriors were already down 3-1, as the Dubs looked to make a return in the series. While the Warriors were hopeful of their comeback, the media kept presenting the reality of a series loss for the Warriors.

Thompson, who wasn’t ready to give up on the team’s three-peat opportunity, decided to clap back at the reporters during a post-game presser after game 4 of the 2019 Finals. Imitating Leonard’s iconic laugh, Thompson tried to assuage Dubs fans by highlighting the Warriors’ post-season experience,

” Ha ha ha.’re gonna see me and you’re gonna see me being myself. And, you’re just gonna see a resilient Warriors team. We’ve been with our backs against the wall before. With the same group. I mean, even last year being down 3-2. Obviously, this is a little more daunting being down 3-1, but usually, with our backs against the wall, we respond the best.” 

Thompson’s prediction of a Warriors comeback did show initial results, as Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a win in game 5. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson would both bow out with season-ending injuries in game 6, as the Warriors fell short of finishing the franchise’s first first-ever three-peat. Kawhi’s chip with Toronto would sound like the end of the KD-Warriors, as The Slim Reaper would leave the Dubs for Brooklyn that summer. 

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher is a writer at The Sports Rush. A lawyer by education, Trikansh has always been around sports. As a young track athlete Trikansh was introduced to basketball through 'street ball' mixtapes. He was hooked and it has been 'ball is life' ever since. Trikansh is a designer by profession, but couldn't keep away from basketball. A regular on the blacktop, his love for the game goes further than just hooping. If Trikansh isn't going through box scores for last night's game, you can find him in his studio working on his designs or playing squash at the local club.

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