In The Athletic’s rating of the very best 75 NBA gamers for the league’s seventy fifth anniversary season, LA Clippers ahead Kawhi Leonard is quantity 34. One among his trainers, Clint Parks, was amongst these interviewed for a profile.
Leonard is deserving of his spot as probably the greatest 75 NBA gamers in historical past. (He additionally made the NBA’s checklist.)
Leonard bought higher each season on offense whereas at all times sustaining elite protection. He’s a two-time NBA champion, successful the Finals MVP for each title runs. He’s additionally a five-time All-Star, a five-time All-NBA choice and seven-time All-Defensive crew member.
The peak of his profession up to now has been when he led the Toronto Raptors to a championship in opposition to all odds. Parks, who was his coach and coached him in highschool, talked to The Athletic about Leonard’s unbelievable run within the 2019 playoffs.
“It was like watching Kobe or MJ as a child,” Parks stated. “Like, that’s how I felt once I was watching him within the playoffs. Particularly in opposition to the Sixers. He couldn’t miss; it was nothing he couldn’t do. After which even watching him in opposition to the Bucks, after being down 2-0 and simply watching him take Giannis’ coronary heart.”
Leonard averaged 30.5 factors, 9.1 rebounds, and three.9 assists per recreation whereas taking pictures 49%. He hit a tremendous buzzer-beater in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers; beat Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 2019 MVP; and eventually defeated the reigning champions within the Golden State Warriors.
The Raptors couldn’t have received that title with out Leonard. Not many gamers in NBA historical past might have completed what he did.
Will Kawhi Leonard play this yr?
Late within the playoffs final season, Kawhi Leonard tore his ACL and has but to play for the Clippers this season. Leonard signed a contract extension within the offseason that can maintain him in Los Angeles till a minimum of 2024.
Leonard has been seen doing gentle exercises. He’s forward of schedule on his restoration, and the Clippers are optimistic he could possibly play this season.
It takes roughly eight months for an athlete to get well from ACL surgical procedure, and his surgical procedure was profitable in July 2021. March 2022 shall be about eight months, and that would depart him time to play throughout the common season earlier than the Clippers play their final recreation on April 10.
The Clippers (19-19) are tied for seventh place within the Western Convention. Nevertheless, they’ll miss Paul George for a while. He was the lone star left on the roster. Their report might slide with out each of their stars.
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If the Clippers could make the playoffs, it is smart for Leonard to return. The combo between him and George might assist the Clippers turn out to be NBA Finals contenders.