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Kawhi Leonard Earns AP Male Athlete of the Year Honor

Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard was named the AP's 2019 Male Athlete of the Year | Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Kawhi Leonard received a distinguished honor on Friday, as he was named the 2019 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.

The Los Angeles Clippers superstar finished ahead the likes of reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, gunslingers Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, as well as tennis sensation Rafael Nadal.

Leonard is now the fifth player in the history of the Association to earn the honor since the award's inception way back in 1931, joining Larry Bird (1986), Michael Jordan (1991,1992, and 1993), LeBron James (2013, 2016, and 2018), and Steph Curry (2015).

The Claw, of course, delivered the Toronto Raptors their first world championship in franchise history. He was rightfully named NBA Finals MVP and was utterly unstoppable throughout the postseason, averaging 30.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists while shooting 49% from the floor and 37.9% from 3.

And who could forget his unforgettable game-winning shot in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals that sent the Philadelphia 76ers packing?

That play still gives us the chills.

There was simply no other choice for this award. Kawhi made 2019 his own, and proved that the Board Man gets paid, and handsomely at that.