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Sport Clippers' Kawhi Leonard reacts to Doc Rivers comparing him to Michael Jordan

14:25  04 november  2019
14:25  04 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Leonard's big fourth quarter lifts Clippers over Jazz

  Leonard's big fourth quarter lifts Clippers over Jazz LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 18 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 105-94 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night. Leonard's scoring surge helped the Clippers erase a double-digit second-half deficit and remain unbeaten (4-0) at home. He only made 9 of 26 shots, but with the game tied at 86, Leonard scored six points to spark a 19-8 run to close out the victory. Montrezl Harrell scored 19BOX SCORE:  CLIPPERS 105, JAZZ 94

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said aspects of Kawhi Leonard 's game was 'most like Jordan we've seen' on 'SportsCenter' in May. Just over a month before Leonard committed to play for him, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers compared Leonard ’s body type to Michael Jordan on ESPN’s

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers has noticed the superb postseason play of Toronto Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard and compared him to Chicago Bulls icon During a segment Tuesday on SportsCenter, Rivers heaped praise on Leonard for his remarkable performances in the NBA playoffs.

LOS ANGELES — The words sounded pleasing to Kawhi Leonard’s ears. Just over a month before Leonard committed to play for him, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers compared Leonard’s body type to Michael Jordan on ESPN’s "SportsCenter."

Kawhi Leonard, JaMychal Green playing a game of football: Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard dribbles up court against the Jazz.© Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard dribbles up court against the Jazz.

“I came a long way to where I am right now," Leonard said following the Clippers’ 104-95 win over the Utah Jazz on Sunday at Staples Center. “It is just showing my hard work is paying off.”

Leonard showed that on Sunday against the Jazz when he finished with 30 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. After shooting only 4-of-5 from the field and 0-of-4 from 3-point range through three quarters, Leonard shot 5-of-11 overall and 2-of-4 from deep in the final period. Jordan often had those games.

Rivers refutes Lakers' title count: 'They only won a certain amount' in L.A.

  Rivers refutes Lakers' title count: 'They only won a certain amount' in L.A. Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has no problem admitting L.A. will always be a "Lakers town," but he does have an issue with the Lakers taking credit for the five NBA titles the franchise won when based in Minneapolis. "They have how many titles that they've won here? You know, they claim them all, but they only won a certain amount here," Rivers told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears. "I will say that. That actually bugs me a little bit. ... Having said that, that's generations of loyalty." The Clippers have played second fiddle to the Lakers since relocating from San Diego in 1984.

The Los Angeles Clippers were fined ,000 by the NBA after head coach Doc Rivers made public comments Tuesday comparing Toronto Raptors superstar forward Kawhi Leonard to Michael Jordan . Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic on Friday reported the fine, which was levied

This past May, Los Angeles Clippers ’ head coach, Doc Rivers was fined ,000 for comparing Kawhi Leonard to Michael Jordan . What Exactly Doc Rivers Said. Stephan A. Smith, American television personality asked Rivers if Leonard was, “the best player in basketball at this particular

It might be a stretch, though, to say those Jordan comparisons convinced Leonard to join the Clippers after eventually winning an NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors. He already liked Rivers’ coaching, his players and his front office. It is not a stretch to say, though, that Rivers did not like the price he paid for saying those words. The NBA fined Rivers $50,000, saying that his comments violated league anti-tampering rules.

MORE ON LEONARD: How Kawhi, Clippers look to keep his body ready for NBA rigors

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“If the media had been listening to what I was saying, we were saying his body type is the most like Michael Jordan," Rivers said.

In a "SportsCenter" segment to preview the NBA Finals on May 31, Rivers said that Leonard “is the most like Jordan we’ve seen” because of how Jordan and Leonard excelled in a post-up game, finishing, leaping, defense and 3-point shot, while possessing “big hands” and a similar frame.

Clippers still waiting for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to share court

  Clippers still waiting for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to share court Paul George made his home debut for the Clippers on Saturday night, but Kawhi Leonard sat out to rest his sore left knee."There’s no concern," coach Doc Rivers said. "It’s day-to-day.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers paid Kawhi Leonard a serious compliment Tuesday when he said the Raptors is “the most like [ Michael ] Jordan that we’ve seen.” It was also a very expensive compliment as the NBA slapped the Clippers with a ,000 fine Friday for violating the league’s anti-tampering

Kawhi Leonard will continue his dominant playoff run on Thursday when the NBA Finals kick off in Toronto. Yet, the praises got a little out of hand for some, when Clippers ' coach Doc Rivers claimed that Kawhi is the closest thing the league has seen to Michael Jordan since His Airness retired.

“The way (the media) reported it was wrong, so it was your fault,” Rivers contended. “We were talking about body types. There is no body types more like Michael Jordan’s than Kawhi because I said his hands and his length. That took a whole life.”

It sure did. Rivers said that angry Lakers fans asked him if that meant Leonard is better than Kobe Bryant. Most importantly, the NBA viewed Rivers’ analysis as a subtle way to recruit Leonard before he became a free agent on July 1.

Did it actually matter to Leonard?

The Clippers had sent countless staffers to Raptors games to collect as much information on Leonard, who admired the Clippers from afar even before Los Angeles challenged the Golden State Warriors to six games in the first round of the NBA playoffs. So when Leonard’s friends informed him about Rivers’ comments, Leonard’s mind remained on something else.

“Initially, I just ran over it because I was in the playoffs,” Leonard said. “(I was) just locked in.”

Rivers addresses late substitution of Kawhi: 'I didn't think we were going to win'

  Rivers addresses late substitution of Kawhi: 'I didn't think we were going to win' Kawhi Leonard's load management became one of the biggest talking points in the league last season, and it's already sparked controversy just three games into his tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers. With 4:15 remaining in Saturday's affair and L.A. trailing the Phoenix Suns 115-103, head coach Doc Rivers substituted Leonard out of the game for Moe Harkless. The Clippers would immediately battle back and pulled as close as seven points. However, Leonard remained on the bench until the 1:34 mark. Rivers cited a 30-35 minutes limit for the reigning Finals MVP and wanted to adhere to that as Leonard was already at 31 when he exited the matchup.

Doc Rivers recently gave Toronto Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard high praise by comparing him to Michael Jordan and saying he's the closest to MJ that the league has seen. The comments weren't taken as observational adulation by the NBA league office who hit the Clippers with a ,000 fine for

It took several days for Kawhi Leonard to sign with the LA Clippers (after Doc Rivers compared him to Michael Jordan on national TV), but players such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics) and Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat) agreed with their new teams almost

Leonard had that mindset partly because he grew up wanting to be like Mike. Leonard also studied former Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson, whom Rivers mused is similar to Leonard because “both have braids” and for their toughness.

“He’s one of the guys that everyone looks up to from a competitive standpoint and how he approached every game," Leonard said of Jordan. "You try to nitpick what you can take from him and take it into yourself.”

Follow USA TODAY NBA writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Clippers' Kawhi Leonard reacts to Doc Rivers comparing him to Michael Jordan

Related slideshow: The 2019-20 NBA Season (Provided by imagn)

a basketball player during a game: Miami Heat forward James Johnson (16) shoots defended by Houston Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha (18) during the second half at American Airlines Arena on November 3, 2019.

LeBron James isn’t about load management: ‘LeBron’s healthy, Lebron’ll play’ .
LeBron James isn’t about load management: ‘LeBron’s healthy, Lebron’ll play’

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