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LeBron James’ shadow too big for Kawhi Leonard

LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard

Despite the Toronto Raptors’ hot start early this season, there are still talks revolving around the possibility of Kawhi Leonard signing with the Los Angeles Lakers next year. But some people around the NBA believe that LeBron James’ shadow might be too big for the mild-mannered Leonard.

Blake Murphy of The Athletic wrote a column on Leonard’s progressing relationship with the Raptors, including some perspectives on Kawhi’s impending free agency in 2019.

As time has gone on, those rumours have focused more on the Los Angeles Clippers. The Los Angeles Lakers boast LeBron James and the greatest marketing advantage in the sport, but there are some around the league who feel that James’ shadow looms too large and that the impatience the Lakers are already showing with their four-year plan could erode their sales pitch.

Before the San Antonio Spurs granted Leonard’s demand for a trade, there were reports saying that the two-time Defensive Player of the Year couldn’t take the pressure of being a team’s main star.

While this could be presumptive at best, one could argue that Leonard is not actually afraid of the spotlight. For the sake of argument, Leonard even won the 2014 Finals MVP. That’s enough spotlight for any player.

But from another perspective, playing with LeBron is not very easy nor very difficult. LeBron will always take the basketball world by storm wherever he plays. Kawhi may or may not be comfortable with it, particularly under the bright lights of Hollywood.

Even so, these views will always be part of the rumor circus that will ride Leonard throughout his upcoming free agency. The Lakers will always be a darkhorse contender in signing the defensive ace next year, especially considering the fact that Los Angeles is Leonard’s hometown.