A torn ACL kept Kawhi Leonard on the sidelines for the Los Angeles Clippers’ 2021-22 NBA season.
Although there was some early chatter about the 30-year-old possibly returning at some point, maybe in time for the playoffs, that never actually materialized.
Now, it’s all eyes forward to 2022-23.
And it seems like no one is hungrier to get back to work than Leonard. He has been putting in serious work in the gym. This past week, photos emerged of the transformation his body has already undergone:
Another day of work in the books. pic.twitter.com/4IIKAXxlU4
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) May 13, 2022
Fans noticed it immediately:
Can’t wait to see Kawhi playing again, he looks bigger https://t.co/7Ljrx1taQg
— MondGreen Burner (@loudmouthdray) May 14, 2022
them legs look alot stronger now. Hes almost back… I cant wait https://t.co/FSTRkJbZD9
— GOOD JOB TRE (@Tre_Potts) May 14, 2022
— (@just_byll) May 13, 2022
— Kawhibot (@barrazab2) May 13, 2022
he said QUADS https://t.co/rOJwkwcpIL
— 𝖍𝖆𝖓𝖓𝖆𝖍 𝖘𝖚𝖙𝖙𝖔𝖓 (@hancsut) May 13, 2022
Everyday is the right day for leg day https://t.co/j1uHNAbqcn
— ADJUSTMENTS (@_funguy) May 13, 2022
It’s easy to see why fans were taken aback. Leonard’s lower body looks legit. Clearly he has been putting the work in since being out, and it will be interesting to see if it pays dividends next season.
Obviously there has been more drama and noise surrounding Leonard’s time in L.A. than meaningful basketball accomplishments. He has been in the news for weird interactions with child fans; mocking opponents with his clothing choices; and strange purported beefs with people within the Clippers’ organization.
All that being said – sometimes players who are out with an injury find themselves doing that. It’s a natural byproduct of not being able to play.
Who is Shohei Ohtani’s girlfriend?https://t.co/qBsJlKdfpk
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 15, 2022
That should change next season, though. And if Leonard’s lower body photos right now are any indication, he is looking to do some damage in 2022-23.
Will next season be the one that sees the Clippers finally claim their first ever NBA championship? Time will tell.