Kawhi Leonard Muted Joy: James Harden Joins, Leonard Stays Calm

Trade ripples continue as Clippers anticipate Harden's court appearance.

by Nouman Rasool
Kawhi Leonard Muted Joy: James Harden Joins, Leonard Stays Calm
© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In the wake of the recent blockbuster trade that brought James Harden to the LA Clippers, Kawhi Leonard, one of the NBA's most stoic figures, has finally broken his silence. The Clippers, with their recent acquisition, now boast a lineup of four All-Star players, two of whom—Russell Westbrook and Harden—have MVP trophies in their display.

The anticipation surrounding the Clippers has reached fever pitch, as fans and analysts alike eagerly await the quartet's debut. The synergy of four LA natives on one team appears daunting, especially on the offensive end.

However, when Leonard was prompted for his reaction, he responded in a manner that was quintessentially "Kawhi." Caught off-guard by the trade news in bed, Leonard conveyed to the media post the Clippers' narrow 130-125 overtime loss to the Lakers, "I was, I guess, excited.

You understand the caliber of player Harden is—one of the best NBA has ever seen. Still, there's a lot we need to figure out."

Harden's Anticipated Debut

While James Harden, commonly referred to as 'The Beard', was conspicuously absent on the court due to his prior conflict with the Philadelphia 76ers, PJ Tucker, another significant piece from the trade package, marked his Clippers debut against the Lakers on November 1st.

Inside sources, including Shams Charania, hint at Harden making his Clippers debut on November 6th against the New York Knicks. This game will be closely watched as Harden shares the court with Leonard and the team. But for now, all eyes were on the recent Clippers-Lakers showdown.

Even with a stretched roster on the second consecutive game night, Leonard and Paul George showcased their prowess. Leonard, in particular, started strong with 18 points in the first quarter, while George accumulated a notable 26 points in the latter half, including the overtime period.

Despite leading by a significant 19-point margin, the Clippers were eventually overpowered by a Lakers lineup, though short on manpower, led by LeBron James' commendable performance. The 'King' registered a season-high, comprising 35 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists.

As the on-court drama unfolded, Harden was spotted engrossed near the Clippers' bench, enthusiastically cheering on his future teammates. The forthcoming matches promise a spectacle, with the Clippers' new ensemble poised to redefine NBA dynamics.

Kawhi Leonard James Harden Clippers