Kawhi Leonard is now a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. After several years of speculation about where Leonard will play long term, it now appears that he should be happy for the next couple years in Los Angeles.
Leonard of course won a championship with the Toronto Raptors last season, and it seemed like they had a solid enough pitch to keep him in Canada: championship experience, a good core, and a susceptible Eastern Conference. But Leonard ultimately departed for Southern California, and his message to Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was pretty simple once he had made that decision.
In a piece by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, there was one nugget about the text message Leonard dropped to Nurse after he’d decided to go to L.A. According to MacMullan, Nurse was at a Prince impersonator concert when he got the text.
It was too loud to hear their phones as the song hit its crescendo, but both Nurse and Bjorkgren had their cells on vibrate. Instinctively, they reached for their pockets, as manufactured purple haze from the Vegas extravaganza swallowed them.
Nurse looked down. The text message simply read, “I’m going home.”
Kawhi Leonard was gone.
On one hand it seems callous that Leonard would simply text people his decision. On the other, news travels quickly and text message is probably the fastest way to get in touch with multiple people close to him as media disseminated the decision for him to head to the Western Conference. Would you rather get a text before news breaks, or a phone call once he’s gone through 80 other people hours or perhaps a day later?
Raptors fans will always have that one season. That championship is going to mean more to them than anything, no matter how Leonard made his decision or delivered the news.