Kawhi Leonard keeps improving his resume. The Los Angeles Clippers star recently joined none other than Michael Jordan in one of the most exclusive clubs in the association. Leonard became the first recipient of the Kobe Bryant MVP award, permanently renamed in honor of the Los Angeles Lakers legend.
That wasn’t the only milestone Leonard achieved with his good performance at the United Center on Sunday night. Moreover, he joined the GOAT, Michael Jordan, as the only two players to win DPOY, Finals MVP, and All-Star MVP.
Jordan, a six-time NBA champion, won the Finals MVP on each occasion, shared between two three-peats; one from 1991 to 1993 and the second between 1996 and 1998. He played the All-Star Game a total 14 times, winning the MVP award in three opportunities, 1988, 1996 and 1998.
MJ started creating this club, which he was the only member until Sunday night, back in 1988. He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, in what meant the first of 9 times he was part of the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Jordan finished his career averaging 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per game, shooting 49.7% from the field, 32.7 from deep and 83.5 from the free-throw line.
Leonard, 28, is already a 2x NBA champion, having won the title for the first time in 2014 with the San Antonio Spurs and last season with the Toronto Raptors (first title in franchise history). Kawhi was awarded the Finals MVP in each of these matchups, being regarded as one of the best two-way players in the league.
At the beginning of his career, Leonard was mostly known for his defensive abilities, which earned him the right to be honored the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in two consecutive years (2015 and 2016). He joined MJ in his club on Sunday after earning his first All-Star Game MVP.
This season the Klaw is averaging 27.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, shooting 46.3% from the field, 37.4% from beyond the arc and 89.5% from the free-throw line. He’s set to take the Los Angeles Clippers to win the NBA title for the first time ever, trying to boost his already impressive resume.
It looks like a long shot now, but Leonard could take the MVP award home at the end of the season, one of the few honors he’s yet to win in the league.