Kawhi Leonard is the prize of this summer’s NBA free agency bonanza, and the reigning Finals MVP will be courted by a bevy of teams starting July 1, all of whom will do all they can to prostrate themselves as his feet. When we checked in with Leonard yesterday, he was making a run on cardboard boxes to pack up his entire life north of the border and hightail it down to Los Angeles. Condolences to the nation of Canada, but you got your championship.
However, news breaks eternal, and Thursday night, Leonard made it abundantly clear that he is for sure, 100 percent, no-doubt signing up for at least five more years and five more titles in Toronto. What could have happened to make everyone so certain that Leonard is putting down roots?
Well, you see, he smiled.
Not only that, but he smiled at a Blue Jays home game. The photo at the top of this blog is proof. Leonard enjoyed himself, in public, in Toronto, while supporting a Toronto sports team. That is indisputable proof of Leonard’s devotion to the cause of sports in Toronto, a cause he furthered with the 2019 NBA championship and a cause he will further once again in a week and a half or so when he signs a maximum deal to stay with the Raptors and break their cursed history of superstars packing up and leaving. Look at him positively reveling in the attention.
Oh, a little smile isn’t enough for you? Check this out: He also filmed Mike Trout at the plate and made casual conversation with a bat boy. As Faizal Khamisa notes, Leonard would have plentiful access to Mike Trout if he chose to play for the Clippers or Lakers, so this filming is a surefire sign that he’s taking his L.A. souvenirs where he can get them.
Would he let that bat boy down? Hell no, buddy. Book it.