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November 2, 2023
Kurt Benson

Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers Championship Window (2 minute read)

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The 2023/2024 NBA season just tipped off, and to be honest, I haven’t felt this excited about the NBA since the Raptors won the 2019 NBA Championship. The buzz and energy around the league feel like it’s at an all-time high. From the competitive landscape to Victor Wembanyama, the NBA is back and ready for a season filled with unique storylines across the league.

The storyline I’m most intrigued about is the Los Angeles Clippers. Post the Raptors 2019 Championship, Kawhi departed for LA to join forces with Paul George. It’s crazy to think it’s been three years since they joined forces, but ultimately, bad timing and injuries have led to lacklustre seasons. We got a sneak peek last season in the playoffs when the Clippers faced off against the Suns, but again, Clipper Nation hopes were cut short due to another Kawhi injury.

However, there is optimism for this season as both Kawhi and PG are healthy heading into the season for what feels like the first time ever. It is also hard not to forget that Kawhi Leonard has won Championships for both the Spurs and the Raptors. The Clippers remain one of ten NBA franchises yet to win a Championship. The Clippers have also long felt the effects of playing in the shadow of the Los Angeles Lakers, who carry 17 NBA Championship banners. For many fans, the Lakers are dubbed the most prestigious franchise in league history. So, playing in Tinsel Town isn’t easy and comes with many expectations, hence owner Steve Balmer investing in the Clippers’ new home, Intuit Dome, which is set to open its doors next season in Inglewood, California.

When I look at this season, from the newly crowned Denver Nuggets to the new-look Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA is stacked, and teams are all in pursuit of the Larry O’Brien Trophy. However, people quickly forget about Kawhi and his two-way ability, arguably making him the most impactful player in the NBA. When healthy, he’s got a proven track record, a two-time Finals MVP. In saying all this, if the Los Angeles Clippers stay healthy, they are my pick to win the 2024 NBA Championship. Some key dates to mark on your calendar: Lakers Vs Clippers on November 1st, Nuggets Vs Clippers on November 14th, and Celtics Vs Clippers on December 23rd.

At the conclusion of our calendar year 2023, we should have a pretty good idea of how the Clippers are shaping up in their quest for the first NBA Championship in franchise history. Stay Tuned.