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Report: Idea of forming a Big 3 with LeBron James, Anthony Davis on Lakers didn’t appeal to Kawhi Leonard’s ‘core sensibilities’

LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard

The prospect of joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis with the Los Angeles Lakers wasn’t one that particularly appealed to Kawhi Leonard and his “core sensibilities.” The two-time Finals MVP has built a resume as a dynasty killer, not a dynasty forger, which played a strong part in his decision to go across the hall and sign with the LA Clippers, according to The Athletic:

On a fundamental level, the idea of forming a Big Three with James and Davis didn’t appeal to Leonard’s core sensibilities. He forged his legacy taking down super teams — like the 2014 Miami Heat and the 2019 Golden State Warriors — rather than joining them.

Leonard’s decision to join the Clippers had more than simply one layer. While proximity to his home was one, organizational structure was another, just as it was their willingness to acquiesce to a request to bring in talent even before he signed on the dotted line.

The Clippers could pitch him on being the leader of his own team, even after trading for Paul George, given he now has two championships and two Finals MVP awards under his belt. The idea of perhaps being the third wheel on the Lakers wasn’t what Leonard had in mind for his career:

“Elite players like Kawhi earn their stripes, and he was not going to be a guy who joins a so-called ‘super team,’” one source close to the situation told Shams Charania of The Athletic. “Now, if a super team forms around him, there is nothing he can control. The Clippers were the best long-term fit.”

Leonard’s decision to sign with the Clippers will bring a rivalry like no other between the Lakers and their in-building rivals, a battle of forces that could very much decide the fate of the Western Conference.