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Anonymous NBA GM: Kawhi Leonard ‘doesn’t rally his team’

According to an anonymous general manager of a Western Conference team, Kawhi Leonard lacks the qualities inherent of a true team leader, at least in his opinion.

Ric Bucher of The Bleacher Report relays the unnamed general manager’s critical thoughts on Leonard in a column concerning the NBA’s recent, frenetic free-agency period.

“Kawhi is great getting his, but he doesn’t elevate anyone,” the GM said. “He doesn’t rally his team.”

A damning indictment, to be sure, but another anonymous executive’s thoughts provide a counterbalance to the above criticism concerning Leonard’s argued shortcomings.

“He does have leadership qualities,” one executive said. “It depends on how you define ‘leader.’ He’s obviously not vocal, and he’s not a galvanizer. He does it with his work ethic and by example.”

Leonard is an enigma when it comes to NBA superstars: A private and introverted individual who harbors a desire to shy away from the spotlight. Those particular personality traits at least partly contribute to the opinion that Leonard comes up short when it comes to leadership qualities.

As noted, Leonard without question does not fit the prototypical mold of an NBA superstar, so much so that the mere act of laughing during a press conference instantly turned into a meme. That said, Leonard boasts a résumé that is highlighted by two NBA titles, two NBA Finals MVPs and two NBA Defensive Player of the Year nods.

The case can be made that Leonard’s ability to lead by example diminishes the need for him to be the quintessential vocal leader. While some may choose to identify aspects of Leonard’s personality as perceived flaws, he remains without question among the top players in the league. What’s more, there is no chance he’ll change his approach to the game at this point, anyway.

Further, odds are the Los Angeles Clippers, after signing Leonard to a three-year, $103 million deal, aren’t sweating the small stuff, either.