They went about it all the wrong way.
Anthony Davis opened up on Tuesday about the Los Angeles Lakers’ failed pursuit of Kawhi Leonard, admitting that his eagerness to recruit the star may have instead pushed him to join the Clippers.
“Somebody said he don’t really like all the recruitment and all that stuff, so I felt like I overstepped my boundaries,” Davis said Tuesday, according USA Today. “But it was a fun process. I would do it all over.”
LeBron James, who pushed for the Lakers to trade for Davis, wasn’t as forthcoming about the process.
“You ask me was I getting excited about it? I don’t get too excited until things actually happen, but I thought we had a chance,” James told ESPN.com.
“That’s all you can ask for. We put ourselves in position to have a chance to get [Leonard]. When he went to the Clippers, I thought that was just as cool. It was great for our league, and he had to do what was best for him. And we all respect that.”
The famously quiet Leonard ended the Lakers’ hopes of forming a “Big Three” by signing a three-year contract with the Clippers worth $103 million. Leonard also has an opt-out in 2021.
James sounded annoyed when asked what tipped the reigning NBA Finals MVP toward signing with the Clippers.
“Man, how the hell can I answer that? I don’t f–king know,” he said. “I don’t know. I don’t know. Ask Kawhi.”
The Clippers were able to sign Leonard only after adding trading for Paul George, who will miss the first 10 games of the season while recovering from surgery on his left shoulder.
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