He finally just said it himself and put an end to the year-long charade of “what the hell is Kawhi Leonard doing?”
For anyone that isn’t up to date on this saga, Kawhi Leonard is a top-10 NBA level player for the San Antonio Spurs that sat out almost all of the past season, making his season debut on December 11, 2017 and playing in nine games before returning to the inactive list for the rest of the year on January 11, 2018. That’s when things got weirder.
An expected short second stint of rehab dragged on for what became the rest of the season. He was still medically cleared by Spurs doctors to play whenever he felt he was ready, and a lack of details behind why he chose not to get back on the court created a swell of rumors as to his future with the Spurs and what directions he may be looking in.
Well, that uncertainty is more or less destroyed with this report today. And to be honest, while this will likely consolidate another set of NBA superstars in yet another effort to recreate the MonStars in real life, I can’t decide how I feel about it.
NO ONE LIKES SURPRISES–NO ONE DEBATES THIS
I mean, of course, we all agree that everything is more exciting when you know exactly how it’s going to end. It’s much like going to see a movie you haven’t seen before. Most people ask their friends to tell them how it ends, or read the ending online before seeing the movie because that way you are basically just watching the first 95% of the movie knowing none of it is going to matter! Then you can “guess” the ending to the people around you to look insightful.
This move will almost certainly lead to the creation of another super team that increases the NBA’s predictability in many respects. I don’t doubt one bit that Kawhi will end up in LA with Paul George on the Lakers (this makes me dry heave as a Pacer fan, whose team once had the opportunity to have both of these players on the same team). And while LeBron James future is anything but certain, this move would greatly increase the likelihood of those three teaming up in LA.
If that does happen, you can take the Eastern Conference, strap it to that nerd Elon Musk’s next super-duper test rocket, and fire that puppy directly to Saturn. The 2019 NBA finals will be decided between the Lakers, the Rockets, and the Warriors in the Western Conference Playoffs. And don’t let the Celtic’s eventual winning streak and over-analyzed media hype fool you otherwise.
On the other hand, watching those three teams duke it out in the playoffs would be an absolute blast. As inevitable as it would be that the Western conference champion would become the NBA champion, the ride there would be full of melodramatic theater, delicious verbal and online subtweeting, and plenty of phenomenal basketball. You can say what you will about how the teams are constructed or how much of a “little bitch” a particular player may be for “not being able to win one on their own” or “insert boilerplate internet comment lacking any nuance or depth of perspective here.” Watching a golden-cloaked LeBron James with the Purple MonStar and the Orange MonStar at his side battle it out with the twice-defending champion Warriors will be worth the predictable slog that will both come before and after it.
So what am I hoping for? I’m hoping this is all just for nothing. Because I am a believer. A believer in virtue, in honor, in respecting the unwritten laws of the NBA that say “Don’t fucking be an asshole and go play for a team or with a player that already up to their nips in championships.”
KAWHI–DO THE RIGHT THING.
Let’s do this the HONORABLE way. The VIRTUOUS way. The Patriots would call it “The Patriot Way”, but they also refer to their owner as “Mr. Kraft” as if saying his first name is disrespectful, so who knows why they do what they do.
We’ll call it “The Pacer Way.”
Come home, my friend.
Fly back to the team that brought you into this world (aka the NBA aka we traded him for George Hill oh god that hurts to type please stop, you stupid dumb idiot).
Let us achieve your dream of playing for a mid-market team that lost in the finals once over a decade ago.
Together, we can create an exciting year where we fight very hard and lose to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games. We can all blame the refs afterward. We’ll wonder what could have been if they had called that obvious travel on Kyrie Irving in the first quarter.