Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard doesn’t view LeBron James as a measuring stick
The Los Angeles Lakers botched a major opportunity to snatch one of the best all-around players in the league in Kawhi Leonard, as the Toronto Raptors beat the rest of the league to the punch, dealing a haymaker of an acquisition for the two-time Defensive Player of the Year. While rumors have swirled of a potential partnership with LeBron James next summer, others know that star players have a lot more to lose than to gain by playing alongside him.
“A lot of people are going back to thinking, ‘I can possibly be… as good as him,'” Spurs veteran Rudy Gay told Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, noting what contending stars have seen in playoff matchups against James. “And sometimes when people think of playing with someone like that, they feel it hinders them, maybe, from getting to that point because he takes up so much of [the] opportunities—and rightfully so, because he’s been great for so many years.”
The same can be said for Kawhi Leonard, who once lost to a James-led Miami Heat superteam, only to get payback the very next season, which spelled the end of his road in South Beach.
“What else do I have to prove?” asked Kawhi Leonard. “He beat me in the Finals; we came back and beat him.”
“So you don’t have anything else to prove?”
“Just when we do play him, try to win the game,” said Leonard. “That’s it.”
Kawhi Leonard has a good chance to remain in Toronto, the way things are going, boasting the best record in the league at 20-5. The biggest threat isn’t even the Lakers, but their neighbor LA Clippers, who are expected to take a good stab at acquiring him once he opts out of the last year of his deal.