Colin Cowherd: “Kawhi is what I would call a great ‘mercenary.’ A plug and play guy. You bring him in, culture is already there, he gets a stop, and he gets a bucket… But in San Antonio, the ‘culture’ was built with Pop and Duncan. In Toronto they were very well run, Kyle Lowry was the leader, and the culture was built… There are certain people in my business that you can hire, they’re funny, they’re talented, but you wouldn’t ‘BUILD’ your franchise around them. Kawhi is a loner, he’s quiet, and he’s non-verbal. There are generally two ways to lead – you’re highly communicative, and if you’re not you lead by example. It’s a given he’s not a verbal guy and very quiet, but a ‘lead by example’ guy is not really him either. He lives in San Diego, reportedly late to practice, load management, had his own trainer… Kawhi is the best player like a Durant, a LeBron, or a Brady, but he’s non-verbal, and he’s not a ‘lead by example’ guy, and I think the Clippers keep waiting for him to create this ‘culture’. That’s not what he does. Last year they had the best team and the deepest team, but CHEMISTRY was the thing they were missing at the end. What are they missing this year? They’re bad at the end of games, and that’s chemistry, that’s communicating, that’s being verbal, and understanding each other… Kawhi’s personality is not to build a culture. It’s a shortlist of ‘great’ and ‘great culture builder', and I think Kawhi is just ‘great’… Don’t expect them to build this alliance in the locker room, it’s simply not who Kawhi is.” (Full Video Above)
Listen to Colin Cowherd explain why he thinks the last year and a half of Los Angeles Clippers basketball has been so disappointing and lackluster, as Colin says Kawhi Leonard, although one of the league’s most talented players, was never the right leader to captivate and invigorate that Clippers locker room.
The Clippers went 49-23 in the regular season last year before shockingly blowing a 3-1 series lead in the second round of the playoffs to the Denver Nuggets. A year later in 2021 they once again find themselves behind LeBron James' Lakers in the standings as a seemingly disinterested NBA Finals contender.
Check out the video above as Colin details why he believes Kawhi's leadership capabilities have always been stunted, and why their insufficiencies have been exposed in Los Angeles.