‘That Man is Kobe’: Kawhi Leonard is Dominating the Sixers

Kawhi Leonard‘s heroics and the degree of difficulty on his shot-making in the Eastern Conference semifinals is drawing comparisons to Kobe Bryant.

Leonard’s clutch step-back three-pointer over Joel Embiid in the Raptors’ 101-96 victory was “Kobe-like,” according to Philadelphia Sixers head coach Brett Brown.

Kawhi has scored 152 points on 89 shots through four games for Toronto, in a series knotted at 2-2.

Per The Athletic:

“It’s Kobe,” Raptors reserve Norman Powell said, when asked to compare Leonard’s performance to anyone he’s seen. “That man is Kobe.”

Leonard leaves the smack talk to his shoe company, New Balance, which created an entire marketing campaign around his silence. And he lets his consistent production speak on behalf of where he wants to be regarded among the current and past greats. He won’t get caught up in individual duels (“I’m trying to beat the whole Sixers team”). Even his post-shot celebrations are muted to the most basic. He pumped his fist in a less-dramatic-than-MJ style after burying the 76ers with a step-back three-pointer over Joel Embiid that put the Raptors up four with 61 seconds remaining. Brown called the shot, “Kobe-like.”

“I’m not describing my game. I’m trying to win. That’s for you guys to do,” Leonard said. “I’m living in the moment.

“I was fortunate enough to be on some pretty good teams early, so I was able to see defenses going on deep playoff runs and try to establish that early. I feel like that probably helped me out to today, now that I’m 27.” Leonard said. “Just really growing up, learning from players, watching great players, seeing how they either control the game or just playing at their own speed and not trying to be rushed by a defender.”

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