Kawhi Leonard in Toronto
That’s exactly what’s happened with Kawhi Leonard, however, and it’s been egregious. The Klaw was already viewed as one of the best players in the NBA heading into his 2018-19 season with the Toronto Raptors, but he wasn’t viewed as the best.
Kawhi had compiled quite the resume leading upto the 2018-19 season, as he had already won an NBA title, Finals MVP, consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards, two All-NBA teams, four All-Defensive teams, and two All-Star teams. In spite of that, everyone had LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the top-two players in the league, and in that order.
During the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Leonard’s Raps were tied 3-3 with the Philadelphia 76ers, until he hit the shot that changed everything. With the game tied 90-90, Kawhi hit a game-winning buzzer-beater, which bounced off the rim multiple times, before eventually going in.
Kawhi’s Raptors ended up winning the championship, in large part due to the Warriors’ injuries to Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, which has conveniently gone ignored. After leading the Raptors to the championship, the narrative somehow became about how Kawhi is a clutch player who drills game-winners.
The media instantly dubbed Kawhi the title of the best player in the NBA, as his game-winning shot against Philly was conveniently spun to somehow mean he has the clutch gene, while forgetting how lucky the shot was that he made.
Next: Morey speaks