NBA Finals MVPKawhiLeonard left the Raptors for the Clippers.
No matter how many times you read that out loud, it's a shockingmove considering Leonard was expected to either stay with the Raptors or join the Lakers. Leonard, the 28-year-old Southern Californianative, captivated the NBA throughout that championship run. piled up as he averaged 28.5 points and 9.8 rebounds while ruining the Warriors'bid for a three-peat.
The Clippers were not thought to be a serious contender in theKawhiSweepstakes at least not Los Angeles Chargers Jackets on the same level as the Lakers and Raptors but now that they'vewon, we are 99 percent sure it's going to be awesome in Tinseltown.
"What I'm 99% hearing is that Kawhi Leonard will be returning to Toronto ..."
Get Up (@GetUpESPN)
It's beautiful for Los Uchenna Nwosu Jersey Angeles and the NBA and it's going to spawn the Western Conference rivalry we didn't know we wantedgiven what is at stake for all the superstars and power brokers involved. Simply put, Lakers vs. Clippers is the biggest and best thing the NBA has to offer right now, even in a loaded Western Conference.
This rivalry is finally real. The Lakers and Clippers have reached the playoffs in the same season only six times. They've never met in the postseason. They've never won 50 games or more apiece in the same season. It's historically never been a rivalry because the Lakers have the championships, but the Clippers have had the upper hand in recent seasons through the Lakers'six-season playoff drought.
YEARRESULT1973-74Both lost conf. semis1991-92Both lost first round1992-93Both lost first round2005-06Clippers lost conf. semis, Lakers lost first round2011-12Both lost in conf. semis2012-13Both lost first round
Leonard has not stepped on the floor yet, but Lakers-Clippers is way bigger than that now, because LeBron James is involved. Leonard opted not to form a super team, and the NBA is Derwin James Jr. Jersey better for it. James, 34, failed to reach the postseason for the first time since 2004-05 and can add a few more chaptersin that greatest-of-all-time-argument with Michael Jordan. Leonard, who drew some comparisons to Jordan in this year's playoffs, is in his way in the same city. Who is the best player in Los Angeles right now?
That's the best question of the summer.
That raises the stakes for their wingmen. Anthony Davis made it to Los Angeles, but not before his reputation was questioned at the trade deadline. New Orleans has moved on with another No. 1 pick in Zion Williamson. Davis has something to prove.
On the other side, Paul George escapes from Oklahoma City only one year after re-signing with the Thunder. George is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 28.0 points per game, and now the Palmdale, Calif., native also is coming home. Which tag team is better right now?
That's the Derwin James Jr T Shirts second-best question of the summer.
George will be up against his former coach in Frank Vogel, who hasn't taken a team past the first round since the conference finals against the James-led Heatin 2013-14. Now Vogel gets to coach James and Davis, and the theme will be "Don't me s it up."
Doc Rivers, meanwhile, hasn't led the Clippers past the first round of the playoffs in the last four seasons. There is no excuse not to make a run to at least the Western Conference finals. It's now-or-never-time for both coaches.
They aren't the only power brokers at stake. Lakersowner Jeanie Bu s and general manager RobPelinkacannot afford more bad PR after Magic Johnson's resignation. Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, president Lawrence Frank and consultant Jerry West finally pushed the chips all-in after seeing what Leonard Troy Reeder Jersey did for Toronto. Klutch Sports agent Rich Paul will continueworking behind the scenes.Key questions will get answered on the court for the next three-to-five years, and more supporting cast members will join the show.
How big is it? The Clippers and Lakers have , better than the Warriors,who have won the Western Conference the last five seasons.
The drama between the Lakers and Clippers will be off the charts, and that's always good for busine s in the NBA. That's only going to increase if and when both teams win 50 games, reach the NFL Los Angeles Chargers Jersey playoffs and perhaps even meet in the NBA playoffs for the first time.
Imagine Clippers-Lakers in the Western Conference finals. "TheKing of the North" challenging "King James"in the NBA's "Game of Thrones." That didn't seem po sible a week ago, but now that production is starting, you want to see that a hell of a lot more than "Space Jam 2." At least you should.
Where could something like this happen? Only in LA.
There is no question about that.