Daily Blog 6/18: Kawhi Leonard is the Modern Era Michael Jordan

Written by Nathan Bloechl on June 18, 2019

By: Nathan Bloechl — sports@kilj.com 

KILJ — We just witnessed greatness in the National Basketball Association.

When the Toronto Raptors knocked off the Golden State Warriors last week in the NBA Finals, the Raptors have just one — maybe, two — people to thank.

Kawhi Leonard and Masai Ujiri, their president.

Leonard orchestrated what might have been the most single-handedly dominant playoff run we’ve seen in quite some time. Leonard took the Raptors to heights they’ve never seen before, which makes what I’m about to write all that much more true:

Kawhi Leonard is the best competitor in the NBA since Michael Jordan. 

Consider the following:

  • Kawhi Leonard is just the third player in NBA history to win a NBA Finals MVP award with multiple teams. Leonard joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players to over do it.
  • Leonard averaged 30.5 points per game throughout the Raptors playoff run, the most on a championship winning team since 2000. Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon, are the only ones above him.

What Leonard did this summer was nothing short of remarkable. Not to mention, the Raptors traded for him full well knowing he could walk in Free Agency this off-season.

What he does in terms of his future is of course uncertain, but one thing we all know is that he will be a very, very rich man.

Watching Leonard dominate both sides of the floor — offensively and defensively — was breathtaking. His surgical execution adn competitiveness was something to behold.

He raised everyone’s game when he was on the floor. He willed the Raptors to win in ways we haven’t seen since the guy wearing #23 in red.

Leonard’s Raptors knocked off my Bucks — after Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead — and it just felt like there was no stopping him. Like Thanos in Avengers, Leonard’s resurgance to the top of the basketball pantheon was inevitable. 

What a player, what a run.

Nevermind LeBron, Kevin Durant, or Giannis.

It’s Kawhi Leonard time.