Decisions are the way in which humans continue to progress throughout life. Whether it’s going to a certain college or choosing where to eat, choices dictate our lives. Where we go, who we see, they’re all a collection of decisions (large and small) that dictate the progression of our lives, be it good or bad. There are some who flourish during decision-making time, while others do the opposite. Not everyone takes their time, looks at every option in absolute depth, and then make a decision that some may find rather simple. However not everyone is like Kawhi Leonard; perhaps not anyone.
The reigning NBA Finals MVP entered free agency on June 30th as the single greatest asset on the market. Everyone is aware who the suitors have been. Prior to the blockbuster trade that landed Kawhi in Toronto, he issued an official request to be traded to LA to play for either the Lakers or the Clippers. During the season, many scoffed at Raptors GM Masai Ujiri for acquiring what many thought was a “rental” that would pack his things and head to sunny LA once the season ends. In all honesty, they weren’t wrong. Leonard was planning to go home when he was dropped on the edge of Canada, thousands of miles away from anything he knows and loves.
Throughout the course of the season, Leonard responded with generalities and a lot of “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there” type answers that kept everyone quite confident that he would inevitably return home. However when the playoffs arrived, the Raptors shifted their focus and turned their level of play to an entirely new gear. Toronto pummelled Orlando, made history against Philly, shocked Milwaukee as well as the entire sports world, on their way to defeating the Golden State Warriors in six games to win the franchise’s first ever NBA title.
Perhaps Kawhi Leonard isn’t the same as all of us, but he is still human (believe it or not). Kawhi like many before him, can change his mind. Who can forget the infamous De’Andre Jordan situation where he committed to Dallas only to go back on his word, just days later. That isn’t Kawhi’s style but reality stands at the fact, people can change their thought-process. Winning an NBA Championship, being unequivocally loved by an entire nation, free food, a free condo, multiple free trips and an organization that look to build around you for years to come, can be A LOT to walk away from.
There truly is nothing like home. We all know that. Think about the last time you were away for an extended period of time. Then you walk in to your home and that sense of protection and comfort hits you like no other place. I get it, LA is warm and they got a lot of lights and famous people. It’s a special city with global mementos in the form of persons and places. But what can replace the love and affection of an entire nation that has only known you for a year? I’m not saying the decision is easy, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sick of #KawhiWatch.
Its’ fantastic drama. The Reddit “insiders”, the new “sources” that seem to pop-up on social media everyday, screenshots, pictures and a Bronco chase has just about capped me off with this entire saga. Since June 30th, #KawhiWatch has been a trending topic globally, that has only added more intrigue and drama as the days go by. Some people love it and others (me) despise it. I want to make it clear, I don’t blame Kawhi for anything.
If anything, Leonard is conducting his free agency the correct and legal way. Everyone tampers in this day and age, that’s why many free agent destinations were already determined and reported once the clock struck 6:00PM on June 30th. However in classic Kawhi style, Leonard began his free agency process once the window opened. Being the most popular name on the board as well as being the reigning Finals MVP, fans have been impatient (to say the least). Kawhi’s free agency has been such a whirlwind, that many claim they literally don’t care if he plays on Mars next season…Just make a decision already! People are not happy with this saga, mainly because they’re being fed inaccurate and false information from reporters who claim to have “sources” that can stimulate whatever agenda they’re attempting to push.
Agreements, favourites, 2-year deals and my personal favourite, “rumblings” have caused fans to accuse even Adrian Wojnarowski of spewing questionable information. Everyone has lost their mind attempting to decipher the code that is, Kawhi Leonard. To no avail, even the highest quality journalists have came back empty handed.
The answer ultimately is no, we’ve never seen anything like #KawhiWatch before. Sure we’ve witnessed superstar players take their time to make a long-term decision, however it’s never been done to this extent, especially with the media and technology being a lot more advanced. People are a lot more obtrusive and they have the ability to take pictures, write updates and give opinions on everything Kawhi, within seconds. With the quiet demeanour he presents, it’s like a worldwide puzzle we’re all trying to figure out. Some enjoy it while others give up, pulling their hair from their heads.
Eventually Leonard will make his decision and it will shake the basketball world. We’ll all tweet and talk about it, then we’ll prepare for the season. Simplicity is key with Kawhi, that’s what makes him so unique and interesting. #KawhiWatch will soon be a thing of the past and as happy as we all will be once the King of the North makes his choice, it’s going to be a bit sad as well. As stressful as it was, I’m going to miss waking up every morning and rushing to Twitter to see if there are any updates on Kawhi Leonard. A happy yet sad moment that hopefully brings the best for everyone involved (except the Clippers or Lakers). We await the fun guy’s decision.
Toronto Talks Sports