It's tomorrow that Kawhi Leonard will find the Raptors. Now at the Clippers, the winger will be happy to meet his former teammates, who also keep good memories of his passage in Canada.
The title certainly united this group forever, and the Toronto players, as well as Nick Nurse, evoke the underrated qualities of leader of "The Klaw".
"There were several times, and during team meetings, where I saw him somehow fit into the team"says the coach at The Athletic. "I know you've often heard me talk about his leadership, but it's important because people said he was not a leader, this or that. I did not invent that. It was probably early. I think we were probably at 13-4 or something like that and we had a little meeting on how the attack was taking place. He got up and told the team, "That's how I see things." He could not have said it better for me. It was perfect ".
Fred VanVleet reminds anyway that Kawhi Leonard " do not speak a lot " and that his confidence in his teammates in Toronto has grown as the season progresses. But for Marc Gasol, the winger speaks when it is necessary.
"He does not play at 100% of his abilities. He's on autopilot, 30 points per game '"
"He speaks when it is necessary. For me, it's a real trait for a leader. When the team needs it, they have a voice, a voice that everyone listens to. He says what to say, he cares what to do. It was great, great … I'll keep it all for the locker room. For me, what happens in the locker room is sacred. But he has always, always been clear and never negative. Always balanced, always stable. We see it, and that's how it is. It is not dramatic at all. It is never too high or too low. He is always stable.
So stable that it's hard to know what he's thinking, and Nick Nurse wondered during the season if Kawhi Leonard was not in "robot mode" …
"I'm not sure I said that last year, but around February, I thought, 'He does not play 100% of his abilities. He is on autopilot at 30 points per game. I thought it could lead to two things: either he stayed on autopilot waiting to leave, or he activated something to try to carry us to the title. Obviously, we saw that this happened. "