5 reasons why Kawhi Leonard should never be compared with LeBron James
The stock of Kawhi Leonard, coming off his second NBA title and second Finals MVP with as many teams, was definitely on the rise at the start of the 2019-20 season. LeBron James, on the other hand, had missed the 2018-19 NBA Playoffs and had a record of 28-27 in the 55 games he played for the LA Lakers that season.
However, the two players should not be compared with each other for a plethora of reasons as surmised below. Without further ado, let us have a look at them.
Even without taking his exploits in the 2019-20 season into account, LeBron James had more or less already cemented his legacy in the NBA. However, that is arguably not yet the case for Kawhi Leonard. The LA Clippers star still has work to do if he wants to be known as the best player in the NBA.
Before leading the Lakers to victory, LeBron James had already led two franchises - the big-three San Antonio Spurs (though they were ageing) and the historic 2015-16 Golden State Warriors - to the promised land by beating an Oklahoma City Thunder team who had three future MVPs in their roster:
Kawhi Leonard, however, still needs to prove that at 29, his best is still to come. Leonard had been a role player at the start of his career and was the 2014 NBA Finals MVP, but he was arguably the best player in that San Antonio roster by a slim margin only.
In terms of consistency, Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James couldn't have been further apart.
Kawhi Leonard, or for that matter any other player, should not be compared with LeBron James in terms of consistency. That is because no player in NBA history has had the consistency and longevity that King James has displayed during his illustrious 17-year NBA career.
Kawhi Leonard became an NBA All-star in his fifth season in 2015-16 before injuries began to slow him down.
In 2016-17, Kawhi Leonard, who was an established superstar at that time, could have probably led the Spurs to success against the Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant-led Warriors if not for his injury issues.
While LeBron James has played in nine NBA Finals in the last ten years, Kawhi Leonard hasn't reached consecutive NBA Finals since 2014 when he was not even the superstar that he is today.
Moreover, in the two years in which he was the reigning NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard could not reach the Conference Finals in the Playoffs. LeBron James, on the other hand, has reached the Finals every year when his team has defended the crown.