Jerry West reiterates that he didn’t ‘close’ Kawhi Leonard deal
The Los Angeles Clippers shocked the entire basketball world when it was announced they acquired Kawhi Leonard and traded for Paul George two weeks ago. Those were literally the biggest news in sports at that time because the team was never seen as a potential destination for Leonard and George never gave any indication that he wanted out of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Still, the Clippers had one of the biggest free agencies in NBA history, and a lot of people are crediting their recent success to the team adviser Jerry West.
West has been considered as one of the best executives in the history of sports because of how he once closed the deal on the Shaquille O’Neal trade when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 and the Kevin Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors when he was working for them in 2016.
But in his interview with TMZ, Kerr said that he had nothing to do with the Leonard acquisition and that he was being given too much credit. He added that it was the collective effort of the team’s front office.
It’s hard to argue with Kerr if he puts it that way as the Clippers have long been building a team that can contend for championships. Ever since the Lob City era up to this point, all the people from within the organization wants is to establish their own identity as a franchise with a positive culture and a winning mentality.
The Leonard and George deals are just a proof that they have been successful in doing just that.