Anthony Davis says he felt Lakers were ‘really, really close’ to getting Kawhi Leonard in free agency
New Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis was hopeful to make his debut in The City of Angels while boasting a Big Three consisting of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and himself. The hope was alive during the opening days of free agency, admitting he reached out to the Finals MVP, hoping to start some sort of rapport:
“I don’t really know Kawhi like that — I don’t think no one really knows Kawhi like that. But obviously we were hopeful,” Davis told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I definitely thought that it was a possibility that we could get him… I’m not going to be a haggling guy. Especially when he came and said he didn’t really like the media [attention] and people pressuring him.
“But I think there was a time where all of us felt like we were really, really close to getting Kawhi.”
Davis felt so close, that he started envisioning the dream of playing alongside two of the best small forwards of this era:
“I think it [has] always been about the Big Three,” said Davis. “We were talking like, ‘Man, we get Kawhi, man, this is what we can do. We can do it like this, this, this, this.'”
Then Leonard made a shocking announcement, picking the Clippers over the Lakers and consequently partnering up with Paul George after a mastermind move brought him to Los Angeles with an NBA-record compensation of five first-round draft picks.
However it didn’t take long for Davis to reset the course:
“[I was] like, ‘Wait, hold on,'” Davis recalls. “‘We [still] got LeBron and Anthony Davis. Let’s do it.'”
The Lakers still pack plenty of promise, and the storylines behind this battle for LA will make this season all the more entertaining, as the Lakers and Clippers will face each other at least four times this 2019-20 season.