Kawhi Leonard will be sidelined for much of the 2021/22 NBA season after suffering a torn ACL in last season’s playoffs, leaving his team helpless against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals. .
While recovering, the player tries to help his teammates however he can. He will watch many games from the sidelines and has begun to embrace a coaching role with the Los Angeles team.
It looks like Kawhi’s coaching skills are working for the Clippers. His teammate Nicolas Batum recently praised him for his presence, his voice and his efforts to do his part during his absence.
Via the Orange County Registry:
“Yeah, he’s right there,” Batum said before practice Friday at the Clippers’ practice facility, nodding across the gym to where the weight equipment is parked. “Like he was here today. He is there, he is there every day. He spoke… he’s a good coach, and he’s like that actually. So it’s good to have him because, you know, we miss him, but he can still have an impact on the team.
And how is Coach Kawhi?
“He’s not the loudest, but no, he knows what to say, what to do,” Batum said. “When he has (something) to say, especially on the side when you’re playing five-on-five… he’ll take guys on the side and tell you what he sees, what he just saw the last game previous.”
Leonard will enter season three as part of the Clippers. He could not take the team to the promised land and this one will be even more difficult for everyone. Paul George is ready to lead them to the playoffs, but being without Kawhi will hurt their chances of transcending the playoffs.
Luckily, the Clippers are confident they can see Kawhi earlier than expected, which could be a problem for the rivals. Meanwhile, he’s trying to be a good coach while things fall into place.