We’re taking a look back at some of the high points from the current Clippers season. Here are the top five moments from Kawhi Leonard’s 2019-20 campaign (so far.)
5. “Hey, hey, hey!” – October 22, 2019
The 2019-20 Clippers season started strong, although we wouldn’t exactly say it started with a bang. Technically, it started with a “Hey, hey hey!” in an address to the fans from new Clippers superstar and recent NBA champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. While Leonard is known for his tenacious defense and clutch offensive performance on the court, he’s almost equally known for his – let’s call it…understated – personality off the floor.
Though opening night was technically a home game for the Clippers, they were facing their hometown rivals the Lakers, and fans of the gold and purple at the Staples Center didn’t exactly welcome Leonard to Los Angeles with open arms. He certainly wouldn’t let that rattle him.
Kawhi addressed the crowd, welcoming Clippers fans to the game, promising them a great season and hard work from the team. It was short, and sweet, and a little less than entirely enthusiastic. But that’s just Kawhi being Kawhi. He’s not the guy to give a rousing, fire-up-the-crowd speech, he’s the guy to make rousing, fire-up-the-crowd plays. He’s a man of action, not words, Even when he’s insisting that he’s a “fun guy.”
The first few moments of his address, the less than fiery “hey, hey, hey” instantly became a meme that took over NBA Twitter and leaked into the mainstream. The clip was perfectly used to poke fun at the idea of a lacking-in-energy attempt at grabbing attention, or calming down a situation.
But Leonard, and the Clippers had the last laugh. They defeated the Lakers 112-102 (without help from then-injured Paul George) in a matchup that was already being called a potential Western Conference Finals preview. Kawhi scored 30 points (at one point in the game taking over and hitting seven straight shots) to go with six rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block.
It was a strong opening statement for sure, even if that statement was made more with his play instead of his words. Classic Kawhi Leonard.