Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook now play for the two rival Los Angeles teams, but they apparently could have just as easily ended up on the same side.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Westbrook made a call to Leonard during the summer of 2019 about teaming up in Los Angeles. Westbrook had a desire to return home to Los Angeles that year after the recent births of his twin girls. Leonard, however, declined Westbrook’s offer and instead called Westbrook’s then-Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Paul George, who ended up as his running mate on the Clippers.
It was probably the right move on Leonard’s part. George is younger, a better defender and a much better three-point shooter than Westbrook. He also helped lead the Clippers to their first conference finals appearance this year with Leonard hurt. Westbrook, on the other hand, has mostly been unable to make it past the first round these last several years.
Two years later, the former MVP now gets his chance to return home and play for the Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Westbrook will surely relish the opportunity to stick it to the Clippers, which have both Leonard and another player that Westbrook has major beef with.