King of SoCal?

It’s time for NBA free agency billboards.

Jim Rome
June 24, 2019 - 9:28 am
Kawhi Leonard

USA Today


June 21st was the summer solstice and you know what that means, right? It’s time for NBA free agency billboards. Arguably the best time of the year. And there are already at least two in SoCal aimed at Kawhi Leonard.

And according to Andrew Grife of the LA Times, there’s a King of the North, err King of SoCal, billboard. And a California license plate with Kawhi on it.

Let’s be real. There are not the most creative billboards ever. In fact, that might be the least creative. Trust me…, Kawhi is not looking up from his booze and dessert to check those boards out. Fact. 

Then again, according to Chris Haynes, he is planning to opt out and become a free agent. So you know that that means – Kawhi’s gonna be a Clipper! Those Clipper bros will be so fired up. Turn up. Love you guys. Awesome. 

Especially when someone recently tweeted out photos of Kawhi allegedly at a Home Depot allegedly buying boxes. Allegedly. And immediately, Raptor fans started freaking out. KAWHI’S BUYING BOXES?!? NOOOOOOOOOOO.  No one buys boxes unless their moving! He’s jamming us!! He must be moving!!! Quick! Get some d listers together; and a weatherman. And Drake: we have to drop a PLEASE STAY KAWHI TRACK! STAT!

Damnnn…Tracking Home Depot boxes is some next level stuff. Tracking plane flights is so early 2000s. People are now snapping pics of guys picking up boxes. That’s some next level stuff right there. I MEAN, PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW, AND IF YOU NEED REAL INTEL, WHERE DO YOU GO TO GET IT? FREAKING HOME DEPOT.  THAT’S SMART. THAT’S REAL.

And so was the freakout when those photos hit. 

Right,… because Kawhi Leonard, two-time NBA champion and a man worth millions of dollars, is going to pack his own boxes and move himself from Canada to Los Angeles,…you know… like a kid moving out of a dorm in college. Because that makes sense.  .

I don’t know why he’s buying boxes, knowing him as I do, which means I don’t know him at all, he could be buying boxes for millions of different reasons. And one of those reasons might just be to mess with everyone. After all, this is the same guy who was in on the joke about his laugh and dropped that on everyone at the parade.

And then there’s this part of the Haynes report about Kawhi: “Leonard, 27, is believed to be seriously considering re-signing with the Raptors, sources said.”

So he might be staying in Toronto after all. The amazing thing about Kawhi’s free agency is that it starts in less than a week and nobody has any idea what he’s going to do. There have been exactly zero leaks about his plans. That is borderline impossible in this day and age. The media, fans, and other teams have been all over Kawhi and his plans for months and still nobody knows. He plays his cards so close to his vest, they’re stuck in his ribs.

Honestly, the fact that it’s such a secret is amazing. Kawhi keeping all of this quiet is almost more impressive than what he’s done on the court.

So let me say the following: I don’t know what Kawhi is going to do because no one does, but…but… I know what he should do: stay right where he is.

Pretty easy for me to say from thousands of miles away and having absolutely no idea of his life and what makes him happy or motivated, but it sure seems like he’s already in the perfect place. Don’t get me wrong. SoCal is awesome and the Clippers have an energy about them that is really special right now. When you watched that team battle in the second half of the season and in their series with Golden State, you can see why a superstar would want to join Doc Rivers and those players.

But Kawhi is in a damn cool place right now. He is coming off an incredible season. He’s worshipped in Toronto and pretty much all of Canada. There is a tremendous organization around him. An incredible front office led by Masai Ujiri. A great coaching staff. A deep roster with some young talent that feels like it can get even better. An amazing fanbase. And a great city. Oh, and he’s world champion. Again. And the organization and the coaching staff did an amazing job in dealing with his LOAD MANAGEMENT. They managed his minutes perfectly to allow him to come back from injury and remain fresh for the playoffs. Again, I have no idea what’s in this guy’s head and his heart; there probably aren’t three people on that planet who do. But I know this: he’s in the right spot; and there’s a not a better place for him. 

Again…That organization, coaching staff, and roster is so good, that Kawhi was able to come in and do his thing from the outset. They didn’t need a season to adjust or get up to speed. They got up to speed in a hurry.

There’s no guarantee that he could replicate that somewhere else.

Oh and the jack. There is THAT. They can offer him an additional year and $50 mill more than anyone else can. And I don’t care who you are, or how rich you are, 50 mill is 50 mill and I don’t see too many people leaving that on the table. But it’s not just the money. It’s’ the money AND the fact that there really isn’t a better situation out there than the one he has. His call, his life, his legacy: but if I were him, I’m taking that max contract and staying where I’m worshipped and just won a world championship.