Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have been through some stuff together. Both players won titles with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors.
If you thought that was enough to get Green some inside information on Leonard’s decision, you would be wrong. Green told Dave McMenamin of ESPN he had no clue where Leonard was going to sign, though he was pretty certain it wasn’t going to be the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I think all of it was a shock to me,” Green said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. “Except not as much of a shock Kawhi going to L.A. The Clippers, anyway. I didn’t see him coming this route [to the Lakers].
“I feel like he wanted to go his own route. I think it was between them and going back. I think the year that he had and what those fans brought this season and everything it was hard for him to turn it down and leave Toronto. But I knew he wanted to be closer to home.”
If Green’s reasoning is correct, it sounds like the presence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis may have discouraged Leonard from joining the Lakers.
That wasn’t the case with Green, who admits Davis and James were a major perk of him signing with the Lakers. Green signed a two-year, $30 million deal with Los Angeles on Saturday. Green signed the same day Leonard announced he would join the Los Angeles Clippers.
It’s not as if Leonard wanted to win all by himself, though. The Clippers acquired Paul George to give the team another big-time weapon to pair with Leonard.
If the Lakers — and their fans — feel spurned by that, they should have plenty of chances to make Leonard pay. With both teams squaring off in a tough Western Conference often, they’ll have opportunities to show Leonard what could have been if he signed with the other team in L.A.
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