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Los Angeles Clippers

What did LA Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard say at media day?

kawhi-leonard-lou-williams-media-day
Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams addressed the press at media day (NBAE/Getty Images)

The LA Clippers were arguably the biggest winners of a busy offseason in the NBA.

Acquiring All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George has catapulted a team that finished eighth in the West in 2019 to one of the favourites to win the NBA title in 2020.

In July, the Clippers introduced both Leonard and George at a community event but media day was the first time fans could see them don their new colours for the first time.

To open the day, Kawhi appeared alongside back-to-back Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams.

Here's some of what the two-time Finals MVP had to say…

On his excitement for a new beginning

"I guess for today, the excitement is just (being) able to put on the jersey, be around the fellas again and talk about tomorrow - that's when our training camp begins. Like you said, it's a process, it's a journey and we all have a focus and goal, and we'll figure it out tomorrow, how we're gonna get there."

On what makes up a championship team

"For me, just everybody being high character - sacrifice, wanting to win, determination, knowledge. All that together, just being on the floor, going out there as one unit, all trying to accomplish that ultimate goal, I think that's what drives a championship team and you just figure out the bumps in roads on the way there.

It's about enjoying the journey and not getting ahead of yourself, not skipping any steps. That's what I think the process is on those two teams (2014 Spurs, 2019 Raptors) you also have to stay healthy as well and you have to be blessed."

On the potential of load management this upcoming season

"It's different this season. Last year, I was going in with the injury that I was dealing with the year before - it still was lingering and we knew that I had to be healthy going throughout the season and making it to the playoffs.

This year, I'm feeling good. I'm feeling way better than I was at the start of last season but there's really no plan laid out yet…"

On his impression of the Clippers prior to joining them

"I wasn't able to play against them last year. Just was dealing with injuries…

A confident unit, play very hard. It seemed like … it was a brotherhood here - they all went out, they did their job and if somebody was doing great that night, they fed him. Coach Doc did a great job of just getting that group ready and pushing them to the playoffs to reach expectations that none of us gave the team.

Going through my process of free agency, that's what I looked at and I thought I could join and help them."

On playing for Team USA in the 2020 Olympic Games

"You know right now, yeah. I do wanna play but I'm taking it one step at a time and right now it's getting the Clippers to the Finals."

On attending Kobe Bryant's camp at the Mamba Sports Academy and his relationship with Bryant

"I think it's a good relationship. I didn't play, though, I just went up there and conversated with him.

It's a good group of talent that went, I wasn't really able to see them play against each other but he did a great job getting a lot of trainers together - elite trainers and the elite players that were there - putting them through drills. I'm not sure what they did throughout the whole day, I was up there for about an hour or two just talking to Kobe, bouncing ideas off of him and that was pretty much it."

On what he learned about coming together quickly during his time in Toronto

"If you can't have a team - the same group of players, you can get to the top.

You seen what the Warriors did the last five years with their same core of players but last year, me and Danny (Green), going in there, I think we just both had a drive and championship experience and they just needed to get over that hump. The Toronto Raptors had been to the playoffs for several years before we got there, they just needed that little push over the top and I think me and Danny went over there, we knew what a championship team needs and we made sacrifices as players as well.

We just went in with that group of talent, everybody was smart and we just bought into one goal."

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