(via The SportsRush)

On ESPN’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith used words like “selfish” and “incompetent” to describe some of the narratives attached to Clippers star Kawhi Leonard.

“Kawhi, there are two words that have been used about him: indifferent and selfish. They say the selfishness breeds from the indifference, the fact that you don’t seem to prioritize galvanizing the folks around you means, essentially, you’re more concerned about you than anything else.”

Kawhi’s game on the court cannot be questioned. As a 4x All-Star, 2x Champion, and 2x Finals MVP, he has earned his status as one of the game’s elite. This past season, he averaged 27 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game on 47% shooting.

Where the criticism does emerge, however, is regarding his leadership in the locker room and on the sidelines, where Kawhi is notorious for being a quiet, soft-spoken individual.

As the Clippers continue to undergo changes, questions are rising about what this team is capable of in the 2020-21 season. With all their talent, they will need Kawhi to step up and lead the pack if they are to have any chance against LeBron James and company.

“Since you are the face of the franchise,” said Smith, “and the leader of the franchise, it’s not enough for you to do your job.”

The best players always have a way of bringing the best out of their teammates, whether it’s LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, or even CP3. For Leonard to truly join that company, and steer this Clippers team to the path of redemption, he might find it necessary to speak a little louder throughout the course of the season.