Sportress of Blogitude

Kawhi Leonard won’t hype Clippers-Lakers showdown on Xmas

The NBA taking over Christmas Day with a slate of hotly anticipated games has become an annual tradition. This year is no different — albeit with two games that have lost some luster since being announced — and the marquee matchup between the Clippers and Lakers is the unquestioned highlight of the day’s five-game schedule.

While the NBA undoubtedly will hype the “Battle for L.A. on the Holiday” leading up to Dec. 25, the league shouldn’t expect Kawhi Leonard to help out in that regard.

Asked about next week’s showdown, Leonard correctly pointed out that the Clippers’ calendar is loaded ahead before Wednesday’s heavyweight bout.

Leonard is easily the most low-key superstar playing in the NBA, and his aversion to seeking out the spotlight is a huge component of his soft-spoken and easygoing off-court demeanor. It is no surprise, then, that Leonard has no interest in playing a role in the NBA’s hype machine.

Further, the Clippers actually have three games on the schedule before the Christmas Day showdown with the Lakers, including a huge matchup with when L.A. plays host to the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.

The team then hits the road for a two-game trip in which the 21-8 squad faces the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

There’s no question that the Clippers-Lakers showdown on Christmas will attract a huge national audience. The Clippers trail the Lakers by 3.5 games for the top spot in the Western Conference, and the competition is likely to heat up as the season progresses.

That doesn’t mean Leonard is going to get overly amped about next week’s game between the two squads, though, even if it comes on one the NBA’s biggest days on the season.