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Clippers reportedly planning now for what happens if Kawhi Leonard stays in Toronto

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For much of the season, the buzz around the league was that Kawhi Leonard‘s choice as a free agent in 2019 was a binary one: Come to the Los Angeles Clippers, or stay with the Toronto Raptors. Other teams tried to pretend they were in the mix — the Lakers, the Knicks — but sources said that was never reality, this was a two-team race.

The Clippers were confident. They made such a show of their presence around Leonard the Raptors reported them to the league for tampering, and Doc Rivers eventually got fined for it.

However, the Clippers are watching the Finals, too. They see it — Leonard dominating and leading the Raptors to the brink of an NBA title. With that, the Clippers’ confidence is fading and they are looking more at Plan B options, reports Joe Varden of The Athletic.

The Clippers, those sources said, feel confident Leonard will answer the phone when they call on June 30, but beyond that there is no way to know what impact Leonard’s Finals run will have. Those sources said the Clippers spend most of their time in meetings preparing for scenarios in which he doesn’t come to L.A.

The Clippers under Lawrence Frank are the kind of organization that would have been thinking about Plan B already anyway. Like all smart organizations (and even some of the not-so-smart ones) they try to map out every potential scenario in advance, to thoroughly assess their options, so they are not caught by surprise. The Clippers have other options, from Kevin Durant (although the Knicks are still considered the frontrunner they by most around the league) to jumping into trade talks for stars.  The Clippers will still be big players this summer, this is an organization with a good reputation around the league with players now.

But they understand the landscape is changing.

Leonard, for the record, told Rachel Nichols of ESPN that he is not thinking about free agency until after the season. As you expect him (and Durant) to say.

“You know what you want. But I’m not thinking, like… just because of this and this I’m gonna re-sign. I’m not even thinking about signing or what team I’m gonna go to, free agency, none of that. I’m just focused on what’s in front of me right now. And then, you know, once it’s over then I’ll revisit everything.”

Nobody knows what Leonard wants exactly, or what he will do, but there’s a growing sense he will sign short term — two years, or a one-plus-one — to stay in Toronto. If so, the Clippers will be prepared for whatever is next.

Nets will reportedly give away 10,000 Kyrie Irving jerseys vs. Knicks

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The Brooklyn Nets will be without Kevin Durant for the majority if not all of next season. In his place they will have to make do with the young squad they have nurtured into a potential playoff threat… and Kyrie Irving.

Irving is one of the latest players to join the Nets, coming over from the Boston Celtics in a move that Brooklyn fans hope will be the start of a potential championship run in New York.

To that end, the Nets appear as though they will be giving away a pretty significant gift early in the season in Brooklyn. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily nNews, the Nets will give away 10,000 Irving jerseys on October 25th as Brooklyn it takes on their crosstown rivals in the New York Knicks.

Via Twitter:

Giving away an entire jersey is a pretty big outlay.

The Nets certainly want Irving to know that he is important to them, and for fans understand that he is going to be just as revered as Durant in the coming years.

Rudy Gobert says France’s bronze medal ‘means everything’

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Some countries, like the United States, don’t really care about the World Cup. The 2019 FIBA World Cup in China was perhaps evidence of that, with Team USA not even bothering to medal.

For countries like France and players like Rudy Gobert, the World Cup is a chance to show that their nation is one that is coming forth as a place to be reckoned with when it comes to basketball development.

France recently took home third place in the 2019 Cup, and for that the Utah Jazz center was grateful. Speaking to reporters after their win over Australia, Gobert said that grabbing the bronze “means everything” to him and to France.

Via Twitter:

That’s some pretty moving stuff from a guy in Gobert who we know is someone who wears his emotions on his sleeve.

Bernie Sanders says LeBron James is the GOAT over Michael Jordan (VIDEO)

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Everyone has an opinion about who is the greatest player of all time between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Most folks still seem to pick Jordan, although it’s been hard to argue with the type of player that James is in a vacuum outside of measurements like championship rings.

In any case, we now have one more person who has tossed their opinion into the ring of public consciousness. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has now said that he believes that LeBron is the GOAT thanks to his public service.

Via Twitter:

“I think LeBron has been willing to do what a lot of athletes are not and get involved in the political process, put money into education, and I respect that.”

James has certainly done a lot politically, socially, and as an activist. He’s supported things like entire schools, and he’s been on the bleeding edge of NBA activism against things like police brutality.

Jordan has also done his part, including a recent pledge for $1 million in funds to aid Bahamanian hurricane relief. Folks like to bag on MJ for his purported “Republicans buy sneakers, too” comment, but it’s unclear whether he actually ever said or felt that.

In either case, it appears that we know who Sanders thinks is the GOAT. Next someone should ask Elizabeth Warren if she would have taken Kobe or Shaq in 2004.

Watch Zion Williamson snap the head off a golf club (VIDEO)

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As any good golfer can tell you, the key to getting a pure ball flight is figuring out the idea of compression. Instead of scooping the ball off the ground, the idea is to hit the ball first and use the ground to compress the dimpled object between the earth and the clubface.

And while New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson probably isn’t concentrating on his golf game heading into his first NBA season, it looks like the idea of compression isn’t lost on him.

As the Pelicans held a golf event this week, Williamson was filmed snapping the head off of an iron while taking a shot off the tee box.

Via Twitter:

It’s hard to tell from this angle, but it looks like Williamson has a pretty solid swing. I’m extremely jealous of the amount of lag he has at the return parallel position on the downswing.

Someone get this guy a stiffer shaft or something. I can only imagine the kind of havoc Williamson is going to inflict on NBA rims this year if this is how the man golfs.