There have been numerous rumors about why Kawhi Leonard didn't sign with the Los Angeles Lakers this Summer, including reports that his camp didn't like the way Magic Johnson shared details of their private meeting, and speculation that he never wanted to team up with LeBron James.
Whatever the case may be, Kawhi is on the Los Angeles Clippers now, as is Paul George, and it sets the stage for a new rivalry between the two Staples Center tenants. And fans won't have to wait much longer to get their first taste of the battle for L.A., as the Clippers and Lakers will kickoff the 2019 NBA season on October 22.
Until then however, there will be continued talk about the league-changing events that unfolded this off-season. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant recently sat down for an interview at the FIBA World Cup tournament in China, where he gave his take on Kawhi's decision to sign with the Clippers. When asked if he understands why Kawhi chose the Clips, the Black Mamba says he thinks Kawhi relished the opportunity to turn the franchise around.
"Well, I think he wanted the challenge of trying to turn the Clippers around, and I think he saw a great opportunity if Paul George wanted to participate in that challenge with him. Both kids are from L.A., and the Lakers was their favorite team but, you know, you grow up and things change."
Check out Kobe's full thoughts in the video embedded below.