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#pounditThursday, September 23, 2021

Report: Kawhi Leonard declined Russell Westbrook’s offer to team up in LA

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook now play for the two rival LA teams, but they apparently could have just as easily ended up on the same side.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported this week 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, following 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 would end up as his running mate on the Clippers.

It was probably the right move on Leonard’s part, as George is younger, a better defender, and a much better three-point shooter than Westbrook. He also helped lead the Clippers to their first-ever 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 Westbrook now gets his chance to return home and play for the Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He will surely relish the opportunity to stick it to the Clippers, who have both Leonard and another player that Westbrook has major beef with.

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