As Kawhi Leonard sat at his locker at Los Angeles’s Staples Center on Tuesday, he was likely prepared to face some uncomfortable questions. For example, the Raptors’ star forward, who missed most of last season while locked in an acrimonious dispute with the Spurs over the severity of a mysterious thigh injury, could have been asked about missing that night’s game against the Clippers with a bruised hip that might also keep him out of a showdown Wednesday with the Warriors.

Or Leonard could have fielded some inquiries into his interest in the opponent, given that the Clippers are widely rumored to be among the front-runners for the services of the Southern California native when he hits free agency this summer. Or is he now thinking of signing an extension with Toronto, given that the team has parlayed its trade for him into the NBA’s best record?

So you might think that, under those circumstances, Leonard would have welcomed a total softball such as this: “Can you talk about your favorite Christmas moment?”

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Then again, if you might think that, you clearly aren’t aware that there isn’t a man of fewer words in the NBA. Sure enough, Leonard replied to the question in a very on-brand manner.

“Not right now,” he said.

So much for that reporter’s angle on a seasonal story. However, all was not lost in terms of seeing Leonard get into the Christmas spirit, because just two days earlier proved to be the most wonderful time of the year to hear him tell a Yuletide-themed joke.

The “elf-abet,” get it? Pure hilarity! Of course, Leonard didn’t exactly strain any other body parts in selling the joke, so it was left to an enterprising Twitter user to help him out by splicing in the all-star’s laugh — much-noted both for its rarity and decidedly odd sound — from his introductory news conference September with the Raptors.

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All in all, we’ve been reminded that there’s rarely more of a “Silent Night” vibe to the holiday season as when Leonard is around. Meanwhile, the Raptors proved that even without the two-time NBA defensive player of the year, they are no joke, as they left quite the lump of coal in the Clippers’ stocking by running away with Tuesday’s game, 123-99.

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