Veteran NBA analyst Skip Bayless may have started a new narrative around Los Angeles Clippers star, Kawhi Leonard. Leonard, who had been dealing with nagging injuries the past few seasons, has been showing shades of his former self this year. Bayless recently went on to draw comparisons between the All-Star Clipper and NFL star Lamar Jackson, bringing up the MVP award as well.
The Los Angeles Clippers, led by Kawhi Leonard, have the third-best record in the Western Conference right now. They have a 33-15 record so far this season, winning 15 out of their last 20 matchups.
Skip Bayless drew a rather interesting comparison between Kawhi Leonard and Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson. Bayless believes that if the Clippers end up winning the West, Leonard should be awarded the MVP award, just like Jackson was rewarded for leading the Ravens to the AFC Championship game.
“If the Clippers, who have won 25 of 30, win the West, Kawhi should win a Lamar-esque MVP. He won’t have MVP-style stats – neither does Lamar – but Kawhi is having Lamar’s eye-test impact on the season. Clips go as he goes. Right now he’s scary healthy,” Bayless wrote on X (Twitter).
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Lamar Jackson won the 2019 NFL MVP award after he led the Baltimore Ravens to their first AFC championship game appearance since 2012. Unfortunately, the Ravens were sent back home by the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Skip Bayless did mention the fact that Kawhi Leonard may not have MVP-level stats by the end of the season but the influence he’s had on the Los Angeles Clippers this season is equivalent to ‘Lamar’s eye-test impact’ on the Ravens back in 2019.
Another aspect that Bayless mentioned in his tweet was regarding Kawhi Leonard’s health. Bayless emphasized Leonard being ‘Scary Healthy’ this season. Though he did not go much into detail but Leonard’s health is a factor for the team’s success, given the number of injuries that have kept him sidelined these past few years.
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Despite having three other All-Stars on the team’s roster, Kawhi Leonard has been the unsung leader of the Clippers this season. His efforts on the court have been the reason why the LA side is flourishing this year.
He has been leading his team in points(24.2 PPG) and three-point percentage(45.1%) so far. But even if the Clippers go on to be the best team in the West by the end of the season, is it enough to make a case for The Klaw deserving the MVP award?
Is Kawhi Leonard a part of the MVP debate this year?
After missing out on the last two All-Star games, Kawhi Leonard is back in the lineup for the West. Both Leonard and Paul George were selected as reserves for the 2024 Western All-Stars roster.
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Kawhi Leonard has played 44 games for the Los Angeles Clippers this year, coming close to surpassing the total number of games he played in the past two seasons. But it is his impact on both ends of the floor that has been a sight to see.
Leonard started as a defensive stopper who developed into a perennial scorer in this league. The Klaw developed into an efficient two-way star who excelled on both offense and defense. And fans can see shades of the old Kawhi coming back.
A big reason behind the Clippers success has solely been Leonard’s health. If the 32-year-old can stay healthy for the remainder of the season, there is a good chance that the Clippers can finish as the number one seed in the West. But again, will that be enough to make a case for the MVP honors for Leonard? We’ll let you speculate on that.