Not even arguably the NBA’s best player could sway Kevin Durant from his ironclad plan.
It’s long been believed Durant and Kyrie Irving eventually would join forces, as the pair of superstars previously found themselves in frustrating situations in Golden State and Boston, respectively. The seemingly inevitable occurred at the turn of free agency when Durant and Irving signed with the Brooklyn Nets. But both players had other options, and KD turned down a particularly appealing one in order to play alongside Irving.
The basketball world was sent into a frenzy in the days leading up to free agency, as reports indicated Kawhi Leonard had interest in teaming up with Durant. The idea of a potential Leonard-Durant pairing never gained much steam, and the reigning Finals MVP, as well as Paul George, eventually landed with the Los Angeles Clippers. Still, Leonard’s interest and early-stage recruiting efforts reportedly were more than well-received by Durant.
“Durant got a call from Kawhi Leonard, asking if he’d consider teaming up with him and signing with the LA Clippers,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne writes. “They’d be great complements to each other, Leonard told Durant. He’d always admired him and had tremendous respect for him as a competitor.
“Durant was flattered and more than a little stunned, according to sources close to the situation. He didn’t know Leonard that well, so getting a recruiting call like that made a real impression.”
As rumors and reports continue to pile up following the marquee free-agent signings, it appears Leonard truly left no stones unturned before making his decision. In fact, the two-time champion reportedly kicked the tires on possibly teaming up with Irving.
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