Kawhi Leonard was ruled out of the Clippers’ playoff run midway through the 2021 postseason. His return date seems to now have been confirmed.
There are few sights more terrifying for the average NBA player than that of the Klaw coming out to guard him on-ball. Kawhi might last have won Defensive Player of the Year in 2015-16, but he’s everyone’s choice for the league’s best defender even now.
The great thing about him is that the 10-year veteran seems to also have built on his skillset every single year. Leonard had a run of 6 straight years without significant injury during which he upped his scoring average every season.
He’s now one of the greatest, most versatile scorers in the modern game. Kawhi has blossomed from a specialist defender who’d get his offense from effort and hustle plays into a true Finals MVP.
He’s also switched allegiances from Jordan Brand to New Balance in the year 2018. As a result, his shoe line is now set to become a feature at many workplaces. Yeah, it’s a tiring joke about NB, but I’m going to make it anyway.
“I’m here for the long run”: Kawhi Leonard dispels rumors about being unhappy with the LA Clippers
There was a bit of buzz around this offseason regarding whether Kawhi would sign as a free agent in Miami. These were all ‘rumors’ generated by talking heads like Stephen A Smith to generate clicks.
But they got enough traction to continue to make it to press conferences around 2 months after he signed an extension with the team during this offseason. Kawhi clarified that he is, indeed, looking to be a Clipper for the long haul:
“I’m here, I’m here to be a Clipper. I’m not going to another team unless something drastic happens, I’m here for the long run. I made my decision based on at first, obviously, family, being closer to my family, being in the state of California.”
“Once I got here, I learned who works here, who was in the front office, and just building chemistry with the staff and people in the front office. A big part of it was just winning.”
Kawhi Leonard says he’s ‘here for the long run’ in Clippers’ media day https://t.co/QQVbcEyQhH
— Sports Informer (@Sportsinformer3) September 28, 2021