He may have helped lead the Toronto Raptors to a championship victory last season, but Kawhi Leonard is in a new atmosphere this year. The NBA star has a new home with the Los Angeles Clippers, and the hometown hero was excited to take to the Staples Center court. On the opening day of the 2019-2020 season, Kawhi and the Clippers went toe-to-toe with fellow City of Angels squad, the Los Angeles Lakers. The latter, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, wasn’t able to stave off Lob City and were taken down 112 to 102.
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Following the game, Kawhi—who put up 30 points in the game—talked about what it was like to be on an L.A. court for his first official game of the season. “It was great. A lot of emotions Game 1, but I’m just happy we came out and got a victory,” he told NBA on TNT. “We played a great practice. The last week, everybody competing, pushing everybody’s limits and we had some carryover tonight.”
When asked why this was emotional for him, Kawhi clarified that during the game, he’s “locked in.” However, prior to taking to the court, he was moved that his loved ones could see him play with ease. “Last night, there were a lot of emotions knowing that my family’s gonna be here tonight. I’m just back here playing in the Staples inmy hometown. It’s just amazing.” Check out Kawhi’s full interview along with a few reactions to the Lakers’defeat, below.