I say this because I grew up watching Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and you can say what you want about those two but they never quit and instead perfected their crafts and became legends. Kawhi Leonard has been blessed to learn from basketball legends Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich and has gotten better and better every year.
He became NBA Finals MVP in a 4-1 rout over the Lebron led Miami Heat in a revenge series after
losing in 7 the previous year coming within minutes of an NBA title. Lebron James is regarded as the best player in the league but what does Lebron do better then Kawhi aside from being more athletic and having better court vision?
Kawhi Leonard has crafted his post game, jumpshot, and has become a play-maker. Coming into the league Kawhi was as raw as they come and was acquired in a trade in which San Antonio gave up veteran guard George Hill, that might be one of the biggest trades in NBA history compared to when the Lakers traded Divac for Kobe Bryant.
Kawhi has lead the Spurs to 61 and 67 win seasons but no one takes notice because the Spurs are regarded as a boring organization around the league, yet they win and are in the mix year after year. Nothing against Lebron James who is one of the greatest basketball players of all-time in his 15th year still has the same weaknesses, he has a respectable jump-shot and average dribbling ability and relies on size and athleticism to do damage.
Kawhi Leonard listens to Gregg Popovich who is arguably the greatest NBA coach of all-time if we are not counting total amount of rings which has lead to his success and rise to superstardom. Compare Lebron who is known for being hard-headed and almost impossible to coach and you see the difference. Again not attacking Lebron James but he has failed to perfect his craft like Kawhi Leonard and I just can’t put him ahead of Kawhi Leonard let alone Kevin Durant who has become a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year this current season.
Why is Kawhi Leonard not the best player in the league? He gets better and better every year and completely controlled the pace of Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals and had the high powered Golden State Warriors down by almost 30 neutralizing Durant on the defensive end and took it right at the Warriors defense. If he had not got injured he might have eliminated the Warriors and won yet another title, as soon as he got hurt the series completely changed.
To conclude Kawhi Leonard in my opinion is the best player in the league, he models Michael Jordan and is the best 2 way player in the game. He never complains, never makes excuses, just laces them up and takes care of business just like Michael did.