We’ve all seen the posts. We’ve seen the analyzing. Most importantly, we’ve all seen the games. Yet, no matter how much we see this, people INSIST that Kawhi Leonard is the MVP. They insist he’s the best the two-way player. Most preposterous of them all, they insist he is “eclipsing” (as Skip would say) Lebron James….
This all started back in the 2014 NBA finals when a young Kawhi Leonard was tasked with the honorable duty of guarding Lebron James and ultimately won his first ring and finals MVP. Now let me get this out there, I am NOT a Lebron fan. In fact, I hate him. There is nothing more I want in life than to see Lebron fail to make it to the NBA finals but, I’m also not a dumbass. The numbers the man puts up consistently every year, the achievements, the play style, the drive, and yes, even the mentality….the man is top 3 of all time. It’s an urban legend that Kawhi “locked up” Lebron in the 2014 NBA finals. Lebron averaged 28 PPG on 57% shooting in that series. Most NBA players DREAM they could average those numbers especially in the playoffs (I’m looking at you Kyle Lowry). Now Kawhi only averaged 17 PPG but on a consistent 61% and 57% from three, respectably. Now Kawhi, a player known for his incredible two way play, averaged 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks in this series. Lebron averaged 2.0 steals and a .04 blocks a game. It doesn’t seem like The King was locked up, in fact, in 4 out of 5 games he was the leading scorer of both teams whilst racking in two games with over 30 points.
Lets bring it in to current day. Last night Kawhi Leonard at 26 years old played 40 minutes and sat the entire 4th quarter where at the time his team was only down 15 points. No one has said a word. They all credit Pop for his amazing coaching and being able to see the game is over. No seriously, people are saying this. Lebron at 32 years old played 47 minutes in game 4 last night. So just let that sink in for a minute and then imagine this: how would people have reacted if Lebron just started sitting while his team was down 26 POINTS against the Pacers last series? How can you say Kawhi is eclipsing Lebron yet not hold him to the same standard? Lebron is shit on daily for sitting a playoff game because of cramps, and rightfully so but, why is Kawhi not held to this same standard? Curry is held to this standard. Durant is. Why is Kawhi babied whenever he does wrong? The Spurs lost to The Rockets 126-99 in Game 1. Kawhi shot an abysmal 5-14 from the field. That’s a 35.7% FG percentage. Lamarcus Aldridge took the blame. SERIOUSLY? If Lebron shot those numbers, hell if Curry shot those numbers, the media would implode! Lebron is averaging 34.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 7.1 APG, 2.1 SPG and 1.5 BPG on 62.3% shooting currently in the playoffs.
Kawhi is averaging 28.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.7 SPG and .04 BPG on 61.0% shooting currently in the playoffs.
Where is the eclipse???
I don’t hate Kawhi Leonard. He’s a top 5 player in the league without a doubt. He’s just overrated. You can’t claim he’s more valuable than Lebron and not hold him to the same standard. I don’t care how “humble” he is. When your team is blown out, the best player takes the blame. That’s how it is and always has been. This happens to Lebron and Curry, even to Harden, Chris Paul, Russ, and Paul George. Why not to Kawhi?
By the way, did I mention Kawhi has only had one game with 8 assists in his entire NBA career?
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