Kawhi Leonard’s top five moments of the 2019-20 season

LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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1. All-Star Game MVP – February 16, 2020

Kawhi Leonard won the newly-named Kobe Bryant MVP Award after putting up 30 points (including eight made three-pointers) and leading his team (well, technically Team LeBron) to a 157-155 victory over the All-Stars of Team Giannis.

All-Star weekend came just three weeks after the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, and the league turned the annual All-Star festivities into a celebration of Bryant’s life.

Leonard spoke of how much winning the award meant to him, especially now that it bared Bryant’s name saying “Words can’t explain how happy I am for it. Able to put that trophy in my room, in my trophy room, and just be able to see Kobe’s name on there, it just means a lot to me. He’s a big inspiration in my life. He did a lot for me.”

Leonard’s trophy room was already quite full. The Clippers megastar is a two-time NBA champion and Finals-MVP (once with San Antonio and again with Toronto), a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, four-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA, and five-time member of the All-Defensive team.

His MVP performance came in an All-Star game praised for its high level of competitive play after tweaks to the format (including a modified version of the Elam ending) added an extra level of intensity to the exhibition.

It’s only fitting that Kawhi took home his first All-Star game MVP award in a year that ramped up the intensity of play.

Next. It should be the Lakers hoping to not run into the LA Clippers. dark

Honorable Mention – Ring Ceremony and Tribute in Toronto – December 11, 2019

This doesn’t officially make our list because it’s not a Clippers moment, but Kawhi received a hero’s welcome in his return to Toronto just months after leading the Raptors to the franchise’s first ever NBA title. While Leonard is no longer a Raptor on the floor, he’ll live forever in Toronto basketball history. We can only hope his tenure as a Clipper will bring the same kind of championship memories.