Kyrie Irving dominated the basketball world last summer as he asked for a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, with escaping LeBron James’ shadow reportedly the primary reason.
Fast forward a year, and it looks like another superstar player isn’t interested in playing with James either.
Despite rumors of Kawhi Leonard and James teaming up in Los Angeles, Leonard reportedly isn’t gassed up about the idea of playing alongside The King with the Lakers.
“I’m hearing that Kawhi Leonard isn’t that enamored with the thought of coming to L.A. with LeBron,” Stephen A. Smith said Wednesday on ESPN Radio. “Not because of LeBron himself, the person or the basketball player, but because of the paparazzi-like atmosphere he will ultimately create in L.A. Kawhi ain’t built that way. Kawhi ain’t the type of player that wants to be a part of all that. Kawhi just wants to grab his lunch pail, go to work and go home. That’s the kind of guy he is.”
It’s tough to deny Smith’s description of Leonard’s personality, as the star swingman has maintained a relatively low profile in his NBA career despite arguably being the league’s best two-way player when healthy. That said, the Lakers always will come with a media circus, even if James doesn’t end up donning the Purple and Gold.
It’s also worth noting that Leonard reportedly longs to play in a city with a bigger market, which has left him open to the idea of taking his talents to Boston or New York. Additionally, the two-time All-Star allegedly has contacted James about playing together which, of course, would nix Smith’s report.
Thumbnail photo via Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports
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