Kawhi Leonard LeBron James
Photo: AP/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith says Kawhi Leonard needs to beat LeBron James in the playoffs this season, due to all the hype that surrounded his arrival to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The pressure is on the two-time champion even more because he failed to even reach the conference finals last season when many picked them as champions.

“Kawhi is in LA. Kawhi came to LA as a champion out of Toronto saying ‘There’s a new sheriff in town.’ They marketed Kawhi Leonard as being the new sheriff in town You had the king’s crown dangling from his convertible driving down the highway in LA knowing LeBron was in town. That’s what you came to town to say. That’s what you came to town to claim. Okay?” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take.

“And LeBron answered the call. They handled their business in the first two rounds. They went to the conference finals was waiting for you. You had a 3-1 lead. You lost to the Denver Nuggets. I’m sorry, I can’t let Kawhi Leonard off the hook.”