Kawhi is considered by many to be among the top 3 players in the world right now, potentially #1.
According to the top NBA analysts, this is a tough decision for Kawhi to make. He's always wanted to be on the LA Lakers. But he just won a championship with the Toronto Raptors.
He's a hero and icon in Canada.
He's the country's favorite human being.
And the Toronto Raptors as a team took very good care of him last year, especially after the horrible season he had with San Antonio the year before.
Several analysts, including the notorious Stephen A. Smith, argue that it would be "bad for basketball" if Kawhi went to the Lakers to join the other mega-stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
These analysts say it wouldn't be "fair" or that the "power" would be too heavily shifted to one team.
These analysts say Kawhi would be "weak" for leaving a situation where he's "proved" himself as "the guy," to a situation where he's one of three superstars.
This is totally ridiculous and insane.
Basketball is about winning.
The NBA as a league as changed. When the system changes, you either adapt to the new system or get extinct.
Evolve or die.
Many of the analysts want the NBA to be what it was 20 years ago where the few superstars went up against each other and fought it out.
To them, that's basketball. That's competition.
But if you were in the situation of the star, what would you do?
If you were in business, not sports, you'd join with the best team. In business, the smartest companies team-up with their competition.
Or, they just innovate to such as a degree to make their competition worthless.
If you were serious about "competition" and winning, then you'd put yourself in the best position to win.
For Kawhi Leonard, that would be with the LA Lakers.
Not only is he from LA and wants to live there, and not only has he always wanted to be a Laker, but that's the smartest long-term move for his career.
If he's serious about winning, not only this season but for the next 5, then the smartest and most aggressive move he would make would be to join with the best.
Kevin Harrington, the famed business mogul once said that most businesses fail because the owner refuses to hire the "best." Instead, he tries to cut costs and doesn't get the best players on the team.
Without the best players on the team, you won't create a rock star business.
You need to invest in the best to get the results you're looking for.
That's what the Lakers are doing right now, and it's why they have 16 championships as an organization.
Too many people are intellectualizing this decision. They are making Kawhi a bad guy for not making the smartest decision he can make.
They are making it seem like he's ruining basketball or something.
If he was smart, he'd make the best decision for himself. And it would be the most competitive decision he would make as a winner.
If the rest of the league is upset about that, then they need to evolve. If they want to compete, they need to get better.
And here's the thing-- everyone would get BETTER if this happened. It would force the other teams to rise up.
The Jazz, Warriors, Clippers, and everyone else would have to upgrade their games to compete.
This is how you get better.
You don't lower your competition. You don't want to play your opponent at their worst, but best, because it brings out the best in you.
As for myself, I have faith in the other teams in the NBA and in the West. If Kawhi joined LA, the West would be forced to respond. Maybe they will fail doing so, but I think at least Utah has the heart to try.
Probably the rest do as well.