New Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum says Kawhi Leonard will be a man on a mission his coming season as fne Frenchman believes the 2019 NBA Finals MVP will want to make amends for a disappointing exit in this past NBA playoffs.
Leonard, who opted not to chase back-to-back titles with the Toronto Raptors and instead signed with the Clippers in the summer of 2019, suffered a disappointing exit from the playoffs as the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets.
"I think what happened last year is this team will have learned a lot and we have a guy who proved it in the past," Batum said, per ESPN. "That's why people told me that about Kawhi. What happened with the Spurs in 2013 [losing in the Finals], he came back the next year and won the MVP of the Finals and the ring.
And what happened to him in 2018 with the injuries and stuff like that in San Antonio, and he came back the next year in Toronto and won the ring as well. Proved it twice, so maybe again this year."
Leonard not the only Clipper looking for a revenge
Clippers guard Patrick Beverley has admitted that he is frustrated with the team's playoff exit and now he is determined to have a big bounce back exit.
"The attitude around here is guys are pissed off," Beverley said. "Which is good. We should be pissed off after our exit last year in the playoffs. I think that within itself is extra motivation there, come in training camp with a team put together [that] looks good on paper [last season] ...
and when you come up short, you get kind of pissed off. "That gives you a little wood to kind of burn inside for the fire. So everybody is kind of pissed off, so it is a little quieter workplace and guys are more locked in, more focused, and that is the way it should be."
Beverley also suggested the Clippers want to get their mojo back. "The feel is that we want to get our lick back," Beverley said. "When I say lick back, I mean somebody hits you when you are growing up, your mom tells you to hit them back, that's getting your lick back. "We got hit by the Nuggets, and we want to get our lick back and that is our focus," he conluded.