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2019 Finals MVP: Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard, the recipient of the 2019 NBA Finals MVP, makes the difference for a team, period.

Even though he had a lot of help from his teammates during the 2019 NBA Finals, the truth is that the Raptors now have a championship title thanks to his work on the court.

Leonard departed to the Clippers after reaching the NBA glory with the Raptors, but for fans of Toronto, he’s always going to be “the King of the North.”

Kawhi is actually considered the best two-way player in the league right now, as he’s able to defend and play offensively with incredible accuracy.

And, even though the regular-season MVP honors went to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the playoffs were all about Leonard.

These are some of this player’s impressive numbers for the 2018-19 postseason:

  • He finished the playoffs with 732 points scored, and only Michael Jordan (759) and King James (748) scored more during a single postseason.
  • Leonard also end up with 14 matches where he finished with 30 points or more, and the only players with better stats than him are Jordan with 16, Hakeem Olajuwon with 16, and Kobe Bryant with 15.
  • He also scored the last two points of Game 7 at the buzzer to beat the Sixers on the second round.

Not an Easy Road

The road to acquiring 2 titles and 2 Finals MVP’s hasn’t been easy for Leonard.

He was not a top recruit during his high school years, and by the time the big colleges were calling him, he had already committed to San Diego State.

Leonard wasn’t even a top draft pick! He was taken at number 15 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, behind players that haven’t averaged not even 10 points per match during their professional careers in the league.

From Injuries to NBA Champion

What’s most impressive about this player is that he spent just a single season with Toronto, allowing the Raptors to do the impossible by beating the almighty Golden State Warriors.

But acquiring Leonard from the Spurs was indeed a risky move by Toronto.

They knew that he was an expensive player that had spent most of the previous season injured.

And they really didn’t know if he was going to be able to play at the same caliber as he did previous to his leg injury.

Leonard spent the previous season injured, and, after some people at San Antonio started to question his commitment to the game and the team, he decided that it was time for him to switch franchises.

And that’s when he got traded to the Raptors, and at that moment, nobody really knew what it was on the plate for Toronto.

But after he became part of the Canadian franchise, he immediately took on the leadership role.

Not His First NBA Finals MVP

Now, this is not the first NBA Finals MVP title for Leonard, as he also obtained these honors back in 2014, when he helped the Spurs beat the Heat 4-1 to claim the title.

And he’s just the third player in the history of the league to have acquired the MVP Finals honors with two NBA teams, the other two being LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Leonard is indeed a future Hall of Famer, and fans of the Clippers are hoping he can do for them what he did for the Raptors, and even more!

 

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