Kawhi Leonard looks like he’d rather be anywhere but this arena groundbreaking ceremony

Ballmer went all out for this groundbreaking ceremony for his Intuit Dome and looked to spare little to no expense. There was a drumline, live musical performances; the event was bright and shiny, all of which reflect the personality of Ballmer. The reactions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George didn’t express that same personality, but most fans should be used to a lack of enthusiasm from Leonard. This doesn’t mean he wasn’t moving and grooving in his mind. You know Leonard isn’t programmed to show spirit or emotion.

Everyone in the building looked to be rocking out, minus Leonard and George. Ballmer can throw a big bash like this as often as he likes, and it still won’t change the fact that the Clippers will continue to play little brother to the Lakers in southern California. Moving 25 minutes outside of Los Angeles isn’t changing that.

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I don’t blame Ballmer for wanting his own arena. I’ve never been a fan of two teams in the same sport sharing a home venue. One team will always get the short end of the stick, especially when it comes to fan base. But in southern California, that fan pool is shallow in many ways. I’d say 9 out of 10 people in LA would identify as Lakers fans. I grew up in California and personally knew two Clippers fans. There really aren’t too many out there who don’t just root for whichever team in LA is having a better season. Traditionally this has always been the Lakers, obviously.

This will be the struggle for Ballmer and his Clippers, whether they’re in Inglewood or downtown Los Angeles: cultivating and establishing an organic and loyal fan base. They have their two stars in place for at least the next few years, but they’ll have to continue to get better consistently. The Clippers’ first Conference Finals appearance last season is a good start. But they can’t go backward. There are too many other entertainment attractions in southern California for teams to struggle regularly. Look at the Lakers whenever they’ve had down years — people living in and around the city come up with other stuff to do when the basketball product isn’t any good. With the Clippers already 17 championships behind the city’s other franchise, for the sake of attendance, they cannot afford to suffer any prolonged slumps once they move to the Intuit Dome. The few true fans they have won’t stick around long enough for a rebuild, let alone the casual crowd.

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Leonard’s face during the groundbreaking live performance truly encapsulates what the Clippers are up against. Ballmer is prepared to throw tons of money at this venture, making use of his far-reaching resources, and still, none of it matters. The Lakers and their fans sat back watching and probably chuckled heartily at the theatrics of the whole event.

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The Clippers can win the next three championships and will still have an uphill battle gaining fans of their own that have no emotional tie to the Lakers. Luckily for the Clippers, Ballmer seems fully invested and in it for the long haul. We know he’s willing to field a competitive team, as we’ve seen already, but it’ll take a lot more than being competitive to catch the Lakers in popularity.

Kawhi Leonard is stealthy

Yes, Kawhi just looked down at his tablet’s home page screen as if he was immersed in something too riveting to tear himself away. That is until he hit a “safe zone.” Now we don’t know exactly why Leonard pulled this move, but knowing his history of being a man of few words, it sure seems like he wanted to avoid any human interaction before entering the building. Kawhi is an introvert plain and simple.

I’m sure there were plenty of awkward moments having Leonard and Rajon Rondo on the same team this past season. One barely talks, and the other won’t stop, depending on the situation. Let’s not forget the back-and-forth between Leonard and Rondo in the waning seconds of Game 5 of the First Round, just a few months ago following an airball by Kawhi looking to tie the game.

Rondo’s minutes took a significant hit after that altercation on the court with Leonard. After that, we saw less and less of Rondo as the playoffs went on. Now Rondo is back down the hall with the Lakers, where he seems much happier.

Kawhi probably won’t ever be the leader everyone else seems to feel he should be. But you can’t say his way hasn’t worked for him in the NBA. Leonard’s a two-time champion, two-time Finals MVP, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, All-NBA, and All-Defensive team selection. Leonard may not have much to say to his team, but you can’t argue with results.

Der neue NBA-Spielplan würdigt historische Momente

Die NBA ist 75 Jahre alt – und sie feiert dies unter anderem damit, dass sich Meilensteine aus ihrer Geschichte im Spielplan für die neue Saison widerspiegeln.

Zum Jubiläum gibt es auch ein spezielles Logo der NBA.

Zum Jubiläum gibt es auch ein spezielles Logo der NBA.

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So spielen die New York Knicks am 1. November gegen die Toronto Raptors – im ersten Spiel der Geschichte war das Team aus dem Big Apple am 1. November 1946 gegen die Toronto Huskies angetreten.

Die drei Teams, die bis heute in jeder Spielzeit vertreten waren – die Knicks, die Boston Celtics und die Golden State Warriors (ehemals Philadelphia Warriors) – treffen sich im Dezember in einer Spanne von fünf Tagen untereinander zu direkten Duellen.

Erinnerung an 33 Lakers-Siege in Serie

Am 7. Januar 2022 spielen die Atlanta Hawks bei den Los Angeles Lakers, exakt 50 Jahre nachdem die Kalifornier das Team aus Georgia geschlagen und ihren 33. Sieg in Folge geholt hatten. Bis heute ist das die längste Siegesserie in der NBA.

Die Spielzeit beginnt am 19. Oktober, die Hauptrunde endet am 10. April 2022. Das erste Spiel der Finalserie soll am 2. Juni stattfinden. Nationalspieler Dennis Schröder gibt sein Pflichtspieldebüt für Boston am 20. Oktober bei den Knicks. Der Braunschweiger war von den Lakers zu den Celtics gewechselt.