Why Kawhi Should Choose The 6 Over La-La Land Next Summer



Raptors’ fans are some of the most diehard fans in the NBA, ranking 4th in attendance at 20,000 fans per game during the 2018 season, only behind the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Philadelphia 76ers. The outrage pouring in from fans over the trade that sent franchise star DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs for a seemingly one-year rental of Kawhi Leonard should show just how ride or die this fanbase can be.

The Lakers, however, ranked 10th in attendance last year despite having great young talent such as Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. Lakers’ fans however have quite the reputation of being maybe a little fair weathered, whether it’s the fact that they are also Cowboys, Yankees and Duke fans or the fact they wouldn’t be able to point out Elgin Baylor in a layup line.

Franchise Star

Kawhi Leonard will always be remembered by capturing an NBA title and hoisting the Finals MVP trophy in 2014 no matter which team he decides to play for. However, if Leonard is looking to become the face of a franchise he should consider remaining in Toronto. Do you really think Leonard wants to play 2nd fiddle to LeBron James? Because I sure don’t.

If Leonard were to re-sign, I would have no doubt in my mind that Raptors GM Masai Ujiri would do everything in his power to keep Leonard happy. Now, can you say the same for a Magic Johnson or Rob Pelinka? I think they’d be a teeny bit more concerned about L.A.Bron’s issues.

Leonard has the potential to be the greatest player to ever put on a Raptors jersey and the man hasn’t played a single minute yet! Raptors fans are starving for a player to call their own, I mean this is the franchise who created a Netflix documentary about a certain “half man, half amazing” who quit on them during his latter years with the team (That’s right Vince, I still remember).

Drake Effect

Ghost writer or not, Drake is undoubtedly top five dead or alive when it comes to the hip-hop game. Drake was announced as the team’s ambassador during the 2016 NBA all-Star game in Toronto. Now I know what you’re saying; “But Darrien there’s so many more stars in L.A.” I get it, but the correlation between hip-hop and the NBA is greater than it’s ever been. As the old saying goes every athlete wants to be a rapper and every rapper wants to be a ball player.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to be possibly named dropped in a Meek Mill diss such as former Raptors point guard Cory Joseph was in 2015 (Charged Up)? Having Drake endorse you could do huge numbers if Leonard is looking for a max shoe contract or possible brand endorsements down the road. With LeBron in L.A. now, I feel as if all companies, brands, and even TV shows will be clamoring for him over Leonard.

If he were to stay in Toronto however he would be the main focal point of the franchise and would be consulted during every decision regarding the franchise moving forward.

Eastern Conference

People seem to forget that Leonard is still coming off a mysterious knee/quad injury that plagued his last season and caused him to miss 73 games (or so he says). L.A. doesn’t care if you’re healthy or not, they don’t care if you’re not happy in the role your in, they only care about one thing. Championships. Who’s to say if the tandem of Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James would even work? Do you really think that the Lakers would even compete with the Warriors, or hell, even the Rockets?

The East, however, is WIDE open. The Boston Celtics shocked everyone last year in the playoffs as they unexpectedly knocked out the favored 76ers in the 3rd round despite not having Gordon Hayward and an All-Star flat earther in Kyrie Irving. Can an injury prone (and bad defense prone) Kyrie Irving really add that much to that Celtics squad?

And then the big question about the Sixers is what in the world went wrong last season for Markelle Fultz and my God can Ben Simmons please shoot with his right hand?!

The Raptors have a great squad which includes four-time NBA All-Star Kyle Lowry, a tenacious center in Jonas Valanciunas, and a promising young small forward by the name of OG Anunoby. With Kawhi Leonard at the helm he can unlock this teams potential in ways only LeBron James could by mentoring the younger talent and also helping to space the floor. Also, who wouldn’t want an easier path to the NBA Finals?


About Darrien Null

Hometown: Strasburg, PA. Contributor for Sixers Lead.

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