I love Doug Smith’s analysis and he is always a good read. In this case (see below for an excerpt), I disagree with Doug and want to make a few observations.
- No one got “played”. Everyone knows exactly what they get themselves into.
- I won’t call billionaires “riverboat gamblers” because the millions to them is “nothing” like you and I pay $5 for a cheap movie. For billionaires, it is not gambling if you enjoy the time spent watching the movie (or your NBA team do stuff) as they can never finish spending their money in their lifetime and last I check, even if you bring money to your grave, your hands are kinda stiff and you can’t spend the money.
- And wow Kawhi! I admire Kawhi so much as he has left “that much money on the table” (in the words of Doug) to buy (“buy” is my word, and yes, he “paid” millions to “buy”) the maximum chance to win NBA Championships and to win them fast asap, preferably in the next two seasons in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021!
Kawhi (and his team of advisors including Uncle Dennis) thought carefully about how best to increase Kawhi’s chances to win. He is gambling with a pair of legal mercury loaded dices named Leonard & George that he personally designed. He has put the Clippers on the clock (and they know it) to win like NOW.Remember, at some point, any extra millions Kawhi can make also becomes meaningless to him because, lets not forget, his aim in life is NOT to collect the biggest number of houses around the world or the most number of fancy cars! Kawhi’s aim in life is to win the most number of NBA championships in the time that he is healthy to play basketball. In case anyone is counting, Kawhi is currently at 2× NBA champion (2014, 2019).
For the record, Tim has 5× NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014). That my friend is what the #FunGuy has been thinking since high school and aiming to achieve in his basketball career all along, 6(?)× NBA champion (2014, 2019, 2020(??), 2021(??), ????, ????) How can you not admire Kawhi and think he is kinda “fun” in his own champion kinda way!
Here is a brief excerpt from Doug Smith’s blog post, “Kawhi-apalooza is over and it ended strangely”
Only doing a two-plus-one deal with the Clippers sure caught everyone I talked to by surprise and once again proved Leonard is impossible to read and to think you can is folly.
But a lot of people were combination of mystified and perturbed by the move and some were kind of thankful it ended as it did.
I talked to agents who simply couldn’t comprehend a client leaving that much money on the table and I presume some eyebrows were raised at the players association office, as well.
It’s kind of telling that no player – not Leonard, not Durant, not Kyrie Irving, not Jimmy Butler to name just four – got every last dollar they could have out of the market. Not sure if that means the market is flawed or just too full of money but I do think it means something.
What it also means, to me in the immediate moment at least, is that the Clippers got used and a bit played and now the pressure on them to win big and win fast is astronomical. [K note: “win big and win fast is astronomical” is exactly the position Kawhi want Clippers to be in] It was one thing to pay the highest price ever paid by an NBA team on the trade market – basically two good players and a decade of draft picks to get the one guy the guy you wanted demanded you get – when the expectation was you’ve have Leonard for four year, a much longer time to win championships than just two.
I don’t know for 100 per cent that they knew they were only going two years guaranteed and if they did, wow, are they riverboat gamblers. If they didn’t, they got played.”
2019 July 11st update:
ESPN, July 10, 2019 “Kawhi’s contract puts the Clippers under pressure – Stephen A. | Pardon the Interruption” (quite similar to one of the points I made)