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Kawhi Leonard highlights playing for Doc Rivers as a key reason for joining Clippers

Kawhi Leonard Doc Rivers

When Kawhi Leonard was traded from the San Antonio Spurs to the Toronto Raptors last summer, the general consensus was that it would be just a pit stop for Leonard before bolting to Los Angeles.

Turns out, that’s exactly what it was.

Yes, Leonard won a championship with the Raptors this past year, but that wasn’t enough to keep him from heading out to LA to join the Clippers. At his introductory press conference on Wednesday, Leonard said that head coach Doc Rivers was a big reason why Leonard decided to sign with the Clips:

“For me, Doc’s a championship coach and that’s something that I wanted,” said Leonard, per Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints. “The front office was transparent with me. It’s an opportunity for us to build our own. We have a chance to do something special.”

Rivers won a championship as head coach of the Boston Celtics back in 2008 and also went to another NBA Finals in 2010, so he certainly knows what it takes to win a title.

Leonard is not joining the Clippers alone, either.

In addition to signing Leonard, Los Angeles also swung a trade for Paul George, giving the Clips one of the best tandems in the league. The Clippers also retained Patrick Beverley and JaMychal Green and have other very solid role players such as Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Landry Shamet.

Los Angeles won 48 games this past season, making it to the playoffs as an eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Clippers then went on to fall to the Golden State Warriors in six games in the first round.