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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Kawhi Leonard becoming more vocal leader for Clippers this season?

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is not exactly known for being vocal, but he appears to be developing on that front in the interest of becoming a better leader.

LA Clippers big man Serge Ibaka spoke recently on Leonard’s improved leadership skills this season. Ibaka had previously played with Leonard on the Toronto Raptors, winning the NBA championship together in 2019.

“I see him more vocal than my first year when we played in Toronto,” said Ibaka, per Farbod Esnaashari of SI. “This year he’s talking more, he’s involved more in everything. I can see he really learned from last year.”

The Clippers struggled from a leadership void of sorts last season. Leonard often seemed detached, and co-star Paul George ultimately failed to earn the respect of some teammates. Meanwhile, more tenured Clippers like Patrick Beverley, himself a very animated figure, appeared to have somewhat of a disconnect with the team’s new stars.

This season has been a different story though. The Clippers are 21-9 (third-best in the league) and have developed a palpable cohesion under new head coach Tyronn Lue. One of the team’s other starters has also spoken positively about the Clippers’ locker room atmosphere this year.

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