Serge Ibaka says that Kawhi Leonard is a much better leader now than when he was teammates with him back on the Raptors.
The Los Angeles Clippers suffered one of the most devastating collapses in NBA postseason history when they blew a 3-1 lead in the WCSF to the Denver Nuggets last year. There were many aspects of that 2019-20 Clippers team that led to them falling apart like that.
Everything from preferential treatment to star players to poor locker room chemistry was being thrown out there for reasons as to how a team as stacked as the Clippers couldn’t even get past the second round.
Communication was definitely one of the factors that played into their evitable demise and that would be expected from a Kawhi Leonard team.
Over the years, Kawhi has been all too vocal when on the court with his teammates. Seems as though he’s turned a new leaf this season.
Serge Ibaka praises Kawhi Leonard for being more vocal this season
Being the best player on the team doesn’t mean you drop 30 points and then leave without saying a word. It felt as though this is what Kawhi Leonard was accustomed to doing for quite a while when with the Spurs, Raptors, and even last year’s Clips.
However, the 2x Finals MVP has made it a point to improve his communication skills on and off the court this season. He’s appearing for a lot more postgame media availabilities, and while on the court, calling out plays and making sure guys are staying involved.
“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 by example first,” is what Ibaka had to say about Leonard this season.
Serge Ibaka on Kawhi: “I see him more vocal than the first year when I played with him in Toronto. This year he’s talking more, he’s involved more. … I can see he learned from last year and tried to be an example and being a good leader this year by showing an example first.”
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) February 15, 2021
Serge Ibaka and Kawhi Leonard have gotten close over the past few years. After winning a title on the Toronto Raptors together in 2019, Ibaka followed the New Balance athlete to LA to fill the void Montrezl Harrell left.