Jack Black epitomized the emotional journey of every Lakers fan in the span of a 36-second video. The 49-year-old actor and rocker provided his comments on Kawhi Leonard spurning the purple and gold for the Clippers earlier this month.
He oscillated between extremely excited to despondent to thankful to downright furious…and all in his high-octane and energetically comedic style.
“Remember where you heard it here first,” Black said in a video on Heart of NBA. “Kawhi Leonard, hoowee! Won the championship, MVP and now he’s in Los Angeles. Wrong team though, dude! Why don’t you come to the Lakers? The 3-headed hydra? You would’ve won a four-peat. Duh!
“It’s exciting, though. Good to be alive during the epic head-to-head battle of Lakers-Clippers. Lebron-Kawhi. The battle will be blood-thirsty. Who will emerge victorious? LeBron will, of course! I’m changing gears now, Kawhi! F— you, you’re going down!”
Here’s the full video.
First, the excitement of another superstar in Los Angeles. Next, the immediate frustration on losing that superstar, followed by an acceptance that the city will likely be the nexus of Western Conference basketball next season. Lastly, the resentful anger. All played for laughs, of course.
The truth is, as our own Anthony Koon pointed out, that Leonard was very close to teaming up with LeBron and Anthony Davis. However, he wrote that the “tipping point” for the Clippers was the deal that secured Paul George from the Thunder.
Leonard was born and raised in Southern California – same as George – and while the Clippers don’t offer the same prestige as the Lakers, they give Leonard a more low-key option in his hometown. While Leonard is focused on growing his brand, he notoriously shies away from the spotlight and the Clippers seem to give him the ability to play in a major market but still keep his low profile.
Kawhi Doesn’t Blame Magic Johnson for Lakers Snub
In an interview with Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Leonard was asked if Magic Johnson’s divulging their conversation was a determining factor as to why he didn’t sign with the Lakers.
“No it wasn’t an issue,” Leonard told Haynes. “Or whatever anyone has to say that’s true. The conversation I had with Magic was transparent. That’s not a reason I didn’t sign with the Lakers.”
One person who saw the Clippers as a realistic option during the whole process was Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher. He talked to our own Brandon “Scoop” Robinson on his Scoop B Radio podcast.
“He’s looking at these bombers and he’s looking at a team that from the get go will be built around him,” he said, “and he’s going to be where he wants to be and he’s going to be the centerpiece as much as Toronto has catered to him, it’s a little bit, again, it’s like the uniqueness of LeBron going to Dwyane Wade and joining Dwyane Wade in Miami.”
Leonard ultimately signed a three-year, $104 million contract with the Clippers. He joins a franchise that pushed the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Now, that same team adds two superstars to vault into the upper tier of the league.