Kawhi Leonard asked for this. The audacity of the ask was mostly overlooked when he completed the ultimate free agent flex last offseason by ditching the NBA champions, leveraging a franchise with 16 NBA championships and convincing an MVP finalist to join him. But with his team bumbling double-digit leads in back-to-back postseason collapses — and now staring down a dangerous Game 7 against Denver — what Leonard chose to achieve in the summer of 2019 looks outrageous.

Leonard really decided it was time, his time, to save the Los Angeles Clippers.

For someone who has callously destroyed two dynasties in his career (three, if you count his original franchise), representing the less-heralded hometown team wasn’t a decision that involved much temerity. It was business. The homecoming. The partnership with Paul George. The guidance from Doc Rivers. It all felt right. Leonard bet on himself in a way few others have, possibly because he saw the two-time…



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