There is the basketball maestro James Harden with an MVP, three scoring titles and two assists titles under his belt. There is Paul George, an eight-time All-Star, who led the LA Clippers to their first Western Conference Finals appearance in 2021. But at the center of this organization stands the ever-so-stoic Kawhi Leonard.
And Leonard has cemented himself as the clear-cut first option, even after the acquisition of two future Hall-of-Famers in the past year.
There was never any questioning Leonard's greatness, but numerous doubts and questions followed his availability. In the 2023-24 season, however, the two-time Finals MVP has yet to miss a single game. And through the media critiques and struggles, he has had a flaming hot start to December.
Kawhi Leonard has been on fire to start the month
In the five games played in December, Leonard is logging 28.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists a game. More impressive, the Los Angeles native is shooting nearly 60% from the field and knocking down the three ball at a 51.6% clip.
In the Clippers' blowout win against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, Leonard knocked down 11 of his 14 field goal attempts en route to a 31-point performance. Just four days prior, the star forward erupted for a season-high 41 points against the Utah Jazz. Propelled by Leonard's scoring, the Clippers outscored the Kings by 20 points and the Jazz by 14.
And the Clippers have won 11 of their last 14 games.
Leonard is not the most vocal of superstars, and it's easy to overlook his thunderous performances on the hardwood. But make no mistake, the 32-year-old megastar is still dominating on both ends of the floor, and the Clippers are looking like contenders.