LeBron James has seen countless threats over the years, yet, has always beat them. His rivalry with Kobe Bryant? Not a problem, he just waited for his time. Bad management in Cleveland? No big deal, he just left for greener pastures in Miami. Father Time itself knocking on James' door? Nothing some time, money, and self-care won't fix.
Unfortunately, everybody has their thing -- their Kryptonite -- and LeBron is no exception. For him, it may very well be Clippers superstar, Kawhi Leonard. While Wednesday's Christmas Day game served as the latest example of victory over Bron, it's something that's been happening for years.
Since their first Finals meeting back in 2013, Kawhi Leonard has always been recognized as a threat to LeBron James. Similar to James, Kawhi was a dominant two-way player who was good at just about everything. He embraced the challenge of guarding James and won Finals MVP a year later because of his defense on the King, first earning him the title as "the LeBron stopper."
It seemed like a joke back then but, years later, it's starting to seem like just plain fact.
As a 2x NBA Champ, 3x All-Star, 2x Finals MVP, and 2x Defensive Player of the Year, Leonard has emerged as one of the top players in the game and is currently making a case to overtake LeBron as the single greatest today. This season alone, Kawhi is 2-0 against the King, blowing him away in nearly every statistical matchup during their matches. This season, in those two games, Bron has been held to an average of just 20.5 points on 37 % shooting.
But it goes much deeper than that. Since Kawhi emerged as a star in the league, Bron has always seemed to struggle against him, both in the playoffs and in the regular season, where he is 8-3. Kawhi is his Kryptonite.
So, it would seem that the Klaw has always been an obstacle too great for even the King to overcome. Unlike every other player in the game, Leonard has beaten James at every level, with multiple teams, and in multiple different ways.
With LeBron turning 35 this month, Leonard is stepping up to overtake him. He's 28, in Los Angeles, and has entered the prime of his career. Averaging 25.9 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists as one of the best defenders in the game, he has the tools to rule the NBA for years to come.
Regardless, the numbers reveal the truth when it comes to LeBron and the Klaw. Though not everybody considers them rivals, Kawhi has always seemingly been a roadblock for James, one he has yet to truly overcome.