You would have completed our championship puzzle but you decided to form your own

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo from NBA.com
Dear Kawhi Leonard,

It’s been over three days since you’ve made the decision to start the next chapter of your career with that other Los Angeles team. My Saturday afternoon was going smoothly until I refreshed my Twitter account that day and saw Sham Charania’s tweet:

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I stared blankly at that tweet in disbelief. It wasn’t long ago since there were speculations about you narrowing down your choices between my Lakers and your Toronto Raptors. A couple reports even suggested that you were leaning towards signing with the purple and gold. Hearing all these rumors felt like a dream come true because you were the piece we needed to complete a championship puzzle.

I mean, think of it this way: A team made up of you, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis would have made for one of the greatest trios in NBA history. This wouldn’t have just brought showtime back to Los Angeles, but multiple titles as well. We would have been the ultimate endgame. Not to mention, you could’ve received a whole load of cash in the process of building a dynasty along with two of the best players in the league.

 

You can’t go wrong with that. But as it turned out, you had other plans. You chose the team that frustrates me more than the Boston Celtics (that’s saying a lot coming from a Laker fan). I can’t believe you signed a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Instead of playing alongside James and Davis, you opted to build your own superteam around that other Los Angeles team. Nothing baffles me more, but I guess that’s what it’s like in the NBA today: dominated by the superteam era.

To add insult to injury, you brought Paul George with you. George, the player who’s long been predicted to play for the Lakers. Instead of playing alongside James and Davis, you opted to build your own superteam around that other Los Angeles team. Nothing baffles me more, but I guess that’s what it’s like in the NBA today: dominated by the superteam era. So I guess it kind of made sense that you decided to form your own.

Now that you’re going to suit up for the Clippers next season, there is no question that the Battle of LA has reached its golden era. In the 34 seasons my Lakers and your Clippers have been together in Los Angeles, there was never a time where our teams were in the top-four seed in the Western Conference at the same time. The Lakers and the Clippers have also never faced each other in a playoff series—but I strongly believe that this is about to change.

I still can’t fully grasp the fact that your team is predicted to win next season’s championship. At the very least, they’ve always been my favorite to get out of the Western Conference. Now, as I am still in the middle of processing your decision, I have to admit that I’m actually looking forward to how intense and monumental the competition will be next season. It’s definitely going to be fun to watch. Staples Center is about to experience the peak of one of the greatest rivalries in NBA history.

At this point, I can speak on behalf of the franchise and tell the world that we aren’t actually mad at you, or the Clippers, or OKC. We’re not really mad. We’re frightened because of LeBron’s age and health. I mean, he’s a 34-year-old coming off a major injury incurred just last season. That’s why throughout the off-season I had hopes of signing another third max player in order to complete the championship puzzle—only to be disappointed once again.

It’s sad, but I know for a fact that victory is going to be extra sweet when my team takes down your team next season.

To end this letter, I’d like to share something that my favorite basketball player Kobe Bryant once said: “It takes a special person to want to play for this franchise…if we need to convince you to play for the Lakers, then you’re not the one.”

Signed, 
A die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan

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