Clippers news: Kawhi Leonard told Doc Rivers he'd love to play for him during free agency meeting.


Clippers news: Doc Rivers will have another chance to win a championship after the team acquired reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard in free agency. The Los Angeles Clippers are now one of the favorites to win the title next season, an idea that never came across anyone’s mind two to three months ago.

But Rivers said that even he was surprised that Leonard didn’t make things difficult for him and team owner Steve Ballmer during their offseason meetings. In an interview with Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times, Doc said that Kawhi made it clear that he wanted to play for him and the Clippers.

“We had a meeting with Kawhi at my house in Malibu and we felt we had the inside position. The Lakers had a meeting with Kawhi and they built this whole thing up for him to come to their new practice facility and he said, ‘No, you can come to my hotel room.’ But with us he said, ‘Yes, I’ll come to your house.’ When we heard that it felt like he was telling us he wants to come here.”

“He said, ‘I want to play for you,’ and he pointed at me. He said, ‘Mr. Ballmer, I love the things you do and what you stand for, but your team is not good enough and if you don’t change your team, I’m not coming.’”

At that point, the Clippers knew that they were a couple of moves away from finally sealing the deal with Leonard, so they showed him a list of players that they believe they can get, but they were a bit surprised when Kawhi pointed at a specific name.

Paul George.

Rivers knew that getting George would be difficult, especially since the All-Star forward just signed a four-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer. Yet in a stunning turn of events, OKC has decided to go on a full rebuild, and  the Clippers were able to trade for him.

Once the Clips successfully acquired George, it finally convinced Leonard to join them, and the franchise’s quest for their first-ever championship will now begin.

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