Published On: Tue, Nov 19th, 2019

LeBron James accused of being ‘tormented’ and ‘haunted’ by Kawhi Leonard at Clippers | Other | Sport

Skip Bayless believes Kawhi Leonard has got inside LeBron James’ head and is “tormenting” his NBA rival.

Leonard endured a frustrating final season with the San Antonio Spurs before moving to the Toronto Raptors where he resurrected his NBA career.

The 28-year-old helped lead the Raptors to their first ever NBA championship and in the process became only the third player in history to win NBA Finals MVP honours with two different teams.

Now Leonard has taken his talents to the Staples Center, teaming up with Paul George at the Clippers.

Playing in the same arena, only wearing the purple and gold of the Lakers, is James alongside Anthony Davis.

Both teams have been backed to win the NBA championship this season, although it is the Lakers who have made the stronger start to the campaign.

That’s in large part due to James’ heroics through the opening 14 games, averaging 25 points and a league-high 11.2 assists per game.

But Fox Sport’s Bayless believes James has only stepped up his level because he feels “threatened” by Leonard, who has only played nine games so far due to ‘load management’.

“LeBron is incredibly threatened and haunted and tormented by the fact that Kawhi Leonard is taking over LeBron’s stage stage at Staples in his town,” he said on Undisputed.

“The new New Balance commercial says, ‘Kawhi town, this exit’.

“Kawhi has exited to Staples to play for the Clippers.

“Yes, he’s load managing… He is telling Doc Rivers, ‘I don’t do November 13th.

“‘I don’t care who it is, I don’t do it’.

“The old NBA adage is the season doesn’t even start until Christmas Day, which was when LeBron’s ended last year.

“How is LeBron reacting to Kawhi Leonard? He’s out of his mind to play as hard as he can against everybody including Golden State.

He added: “He’s trying to anti-PR Kawhi Leonard. He’s trying to win the PR battle.

“[He was asked the other night] LeBron, you thinking about load management? He said, ‘If LeBron is healthy, LeBron is going to play.

“It’s November and LeBron’s out there gutting it out trying to pad his stats against what’s left of the Golden State Warriors.

“Everybody is load managing expect LeBron James and LeBron’s season ended – virtually – on Christmas Day.

“Was LeBron around for the playoffs? No. Was Kawhi around for the playoffs? Yes.”

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