There’s this worry amongst NBA followers that after LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard retires, we might by no means hear from him once more. Whereas Leonard belongs to the identical ilk as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant, he isn’t as gregarious with regard to selling his model. Legendary head coach Gregg Popovich knew this from the very starting. He knew he needed to take a distinct strategy to unveil Leonard’s searing potential.
Again in 2016, in the course of Leonard’s rise as a legit NBA famous person, Popovich revealed some bits in regards to the Claw’s angle. The legendary coach noticed that Leonard is a perfectionist of some kind. When he commits an error, it actually irks him. And that is the place Popovich reinstills his confidence again.
“When Kawhi makes a mistake, he is virtually apologetic. He does not wish to disappoint anyone. There are occasions he does one thing properly, and I’ve to inform him, ‘That was tremendous. That was unbelievable. That was a helluva job. You’ll be able to smile now. You’ll be able to really feel nice about your self.'” Popovich mentioned, per Sports Illustrated.
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The San Antonio Spurs head coach additionally noticed Leonard’s craving to play basketball. A lot in order that Kawhi doesn’t prefer to be taken out of the courtroom. At the least not till he performs his normal minutes. Kawhi is not going to say a phrase, however his actions scream his dissatisfaction. Popovich is aware of what to say when he sees Leonard curling his lips.
“If I convey him out too early, for instance, he’ll go like this”: Popovich curls up one aspect of his lip. “What he is saying is, ‘Pop, why the f— are you bringing me out so early?’ however he’d by no means really say that. So I inform him, ‘I will get again to you,’ and he nods and sits down.”
Gregg Popovich, Sports Illustrated
Some would possibly really feel that Leonard is performing like a diva. Why would a legendary coach modify to please him? Effectively, that’s one of many jobs of a coach. The aim is to maximise the potential of his gamers. Not everyone seems to be constructed the identical. Some are extroverted. Some are like Kawhi, who retains his ideas to himself. A coach wants to have the ability to know his gamers and consider methods to strategy them.
NBA followers didn’t hear a phrase from Leonard within the 2021-22 NBA season. All we knew was that he was recovering from a partial ACL tear in his proper knee. Amid his absence, the Clippers carried out comparatively properly. The entrance workplace made some key acquisitions as properly. Veterans Norman Powell and Robert Covington had been added, which really beefed up their roster.
Latest experiences reveal that Leonard has began understanding and was even noticed hooping within the Dominican republic.
Maybe all these are good indicators that Leonard will lastly lace his sneakers up within the 2023-23 NBA Season. We are going to lastly see the Claw in motion, backed up by a way more strong Clippers roster. A playoff look is certainly on the horizon. And everyone knows Leonard can lead a workforce to an NBA Championship.