Kawhi Leonard and Paul George Give First Comments as Clippers: the Takeaway

Photo: LA Clippers

The LA Clippers have signed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, aka PG13. The Clippers fans are hyped, Steve Ballmer, the chairman of the team, is super hyped (as he always is), but the stars themselves have kept silent up until recently. You’ve probably heard the news already, but what do the all-stars themselves think about their future? Our summary of their first press-conference as Clippers in Green Meadows center provides you with important insights into that.

Two Southern California Natives Team Up

Both Leonard and George have been talked about a lot in recent years. Both were born and raised in Southern California, both are phenomenal two-way players who can single-handedly change a game in their favor, both are surprisingly humble when it comes to their achievements.

Kawhi is three times all-star, PG13 joined the famous team 6 times. That’s quite an achievement for athletes under 30. Both have been playing with teams in and outside the US but they always wanted to play in LA.

Now, they have finally decided to join forces. Few people expected them to choose the Clippers over Lakers, though. Leonard and George are facing a tough challenge beating LeBron James and Anthony Davis who joined the LA Lakers this season.

Neither the new Clippers nor the management haven’t mentioned the Lakers once in their press-conferences. They made it clear it’s not about rivalry or making a point of beating the LA stars. It’s about the slow but sure movement towards earning championships.

It’s All About Family

The team owner, Steve Balmer, looks like your typical family guy. He’s a small, stout, and bald man in his early 60s. The guy has the energy of a 16-year-old when it comes to his favorite team. When he had the chance to speak, he got so enthusiastic about Kawhi and Paul joining the Clippers that he made the two athletes who had been unemotional throughout the conference cheer and laugh.

His main point? The Clippers are all about the family. It’s not a team where players compete with each other to get ahead; it’s a team that is willing to do what it takes to win. And not just in words, too. During the five years that he’s owned the Clippers, Steve has managed to create one of the best locker room spirits in the NBA.

Kawhi and PG13 are a perfect fit in this respect. They’re cooperative and have a great team spirit. They’re not ballsy about their amazing play and are willing to make personal sacrifices for the team.

Both players have friends and family in LA, too. They were very happy about the possibility to talk to their loved ones and said that was one of the reasons they wanted to play in LA in the first place.

The Goal is to Win the Last Game Played During the NBA Season

With 42 wins in the previous season, the LA Clippers are going through a revival. However, that’s not enough for Steve Ballmer. He says that even though the team “did some winning,” they’re not going to stop there. His ultimate goal is to win the last game played during the NBA season. He’s aiming for what Kawhi Leonard calls “Larry OB,” and if you judge the Clippers by his enthusiasm only, it’s totally happening.

The Clippers did what many other teams only dream about. They signed up not one but two NBA all-stars for a season. And the most amazing thing is that the team didn’t have to sell off their core players to afford this. Patrick Beverley and Ivica Zubak are returning for the season too, so the Lakers are going to have a tough time beating the Clippers.

Kawhi: We Can Make History Here

Kawhi Leonard showed a silent and steel-strong dedication to the team. He’s been showing the same dedication for his whole career, starting with his time in King highschool when he forgot about the assignments, the essays, and the books, and focused on the game. “We can make history here,” — he says. He certainly made headlines after choosing the Clippers over Lakers. Kawhi kept his choice a secret while working on building his new team.

From what he said during the press conference, it seems Kawhi has big ambitions about the Clippers. Sure, it’s a great team that’s moving up the NBA ranks, and he’ll get to socialize with his family, but there’s more to it. Leonard plans on being number one in the team that’s going to win their first championship this season. And that beats being a Laker by a huge margin.

The Lakers Have the Media, We Have Bigger Things to Accomplish

The athletes didn’t mention their LA rivals during their speech, but they just had to be brought up during the Q&A session. When Paul George got a chance to speak, he said he didn’t believe the Lakers were better. According to PG13, the Clippers are a great team, while the Lakers have all the media behind them. But neither him nor his new teammate are planning on getting the recognition of the media. All they want is trophies.

LA Our Way

Joining the Clippers is more than just a career move for PG13 and Leonard. They’re making a point. They’re showing they don’t care about the drama in the NBA, nor do they have the time to listen to what agencies want them to do. They’re having it their way, and they’re leading the Clippers to victory.

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