LA Clippers: Kawhi Leonard, mind games, and The Art of War

LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers
LA Clippers (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

“Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.”

Leonard began his career as a Clipper by making sure the team brought in one of the most sought-after players in the NBA to be his running mate.

He could have signed in Los Angeles with a young, promising Clippers team who just made the playoffs as a surprise eight-seed in the Western Conference, but he wanted more.

The Clippers made sure they got their man by getting his man in Paul George, the superstar swingman who spent the most recent two seasons in Oklahoma City after being coveted by the Lakers, and many other teams in the NBA. George cost a heavy price but Leonard put the word out that he wanted to play with another established superstar, and the Clippers took that message seriously.

George is the type of player who would make any NBA roster better. He fits in wherever he’s placed, not unlike Leonard. The pair of stars on the same roster create matchup nightmares for any opponent and gives the Clippers the type of lineup flexibility coaches dream about.

It’s a clear advantage for the Clippers on both ends of the floor as the pair both need to be closely guarded on offense, and can switch onto most any player on the defensive end. The Clippers opposition must bend to their will, and not the other way around, giving them the upper-hand on the battlefield of the NBA hardwood.