Kawhi Leonard used Drake’s L.A. home to recruit Paul George to Clippers
Drake is the Toronto Raptors’ No. 1 celebrity super fan — not to mention the NBA organization’s global ambassador — so it is stunning to learn that he played a role in Kawhi Leonard leaving the team to join the Los Angeles Clippers.
According to a feature story on Paul George from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Drake allowed Leonard to stay in his Hidden Hills, Calif., home while he was taking free-agent meetings in Los Angeles.
Leonard and George had been exchanging text messages as a conversation between the two evolved from the latter congratulating the former on winning an NBA championship.
Phone calls followed, but it was two in-person meetings between Leonard and George at Drake’s home that set in motion the machinations that ultimately led to the two teaming up with the Clippers. Leonard of course signed with L.A. and the Clippers acquired George from the Thunder in a trade.
Paul George called to congratulate Kawhi Leonard on winning a championship and then “it took on a life of its own.” After countless text messages, phone calls and two meetings at Drake’s house , they were both home in LA. Here’s why that meant so much to George. pic.twitter.com/7Hr6weE89r— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) January 15, 2020
“By July 1, they had decided to put their plan in motion: Leonard told the Clippers that he was interested in playing for them but only if they could improve their roster by adding an All-Star-caliber player like George,” Shelburne writes.
Drake arguably has a lot of explaining to do to his fellow Raptors fans about his part in Leonard leaving Toronto. Having said that, despite Leonard’s stint with the Raptors being short-lived, the region’s fans are eternally grateful to Leonard for delivering Toronto an NBA title.
Further, given how graciously Raptors fans welcomed him back to Toronto when he returned with the Clippers in December, perhaps they can forgive Drake — among the most passionate Toronto fans out there — as well.