Kawhi Leonard crushes his opponents in slow, agonizing fashion as we’ve witnessed throughout the 2018-19 playoffs. And coming so close isn’t going to provide any solace for grieving Toronto Raptors fans.
Leonard took part in his introductory press conference with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, where he thanked the city of Toronto, and Raptors fans as a whole for his perfect season with the organization.
Afterwards, Leonard and new teammate Paul George sat down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, where the Board Man revealed that he almost stayed in Toronto.
“I was very close. Real close. But when [the Clippers] presented the opportunity of playing with Paul, it was easy, it was a yes. I said let's get it going,” Leonard said of his decision to join the Clippers.
A reunion with the Raps - or a deal with the Lakers - wasn't far off for Kawhi. pic.twitter.com/9U9SyMyPFj— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) July 25, 2019
Leonard did also admit to what most people were thinking was a vital component of his free-agency decision: the unparalleled joy of playing in his home state of California.
Although Toronto can hold its own as a world-class city in its own right, treat Leonard as a demigod, while the organization compiles a forward-thinking maintenance regimen, the city cannot physically relocate itself, and the Raptors do not employ George.
With Leonard in tow, the Clippers emerge as the presumptive favourites in an NBA landscape that is wide-open for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
Farewell, Kawhi. The Larry O’B is validation enough, even if some segments of the fan base are more concerned about a belated thank you.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet stated that Leonard moved on, and his former team will have to do the same. This is the closure we’ve been waiting for.
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