The two stars involved in the NBA’s most recent summer blockbuster have locked themselves in their respective bedrooms. This is not a drill. Both DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard have reportedly retreated to their sleeping quarters and are now engaged in a semi-private WhatsApp chat. Somebody at the company can see what we’re typing!!
In addition to DeRozan and Leonard, two more players were involved in the transaction — Jakob Poeltl joining DeMar in San Antonio, and Danny Green going to Toronto with Kawhi:
– Where do they fit in all this? No clue, who cares.
– Are they upset? Probably but once again, who cares.
– Do we care? Not in the least.
– Are we supposed to? Probably.
Sources say the thumb-heavy conversation has been extremely emotional, highlighted by countless crying emojis. One message from Kawhi caused some to suggest he’s still not fully recovered from the injury that limited him to nine games a season ago:
An Instagram post (since deleted) showed a glimpse of the chat — another message, this one from DeRozan-to-Leonard, reportedly featured 59 red-face emojis.
Kawhi, himself, is not typing his responses — according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kawhi has been texting via “His Team”. We are told that Leonard does have final say prior to any message being sent. Does he even talk? Not sure I’ve ever heard him say a goddamn word.
Having been engaged in a season-long soap opera with a team famous for not subjecting themselves to such sagas, Leonard likely knew a trade was imminent. Can’t think of a worse place to be stuck and unwanted in than Texas………..does Kawhi carry?
DeMar DeRozan, on the other hand, was blindsided by the trade.
Welcome to professional sports, DeMar. When you fail to make yourself truly indispensable, being traded remains a potential reality.
Who would’ve thought this trade was ever even a remote possibility? Sure it became a thing in the off-season but before that nobody could’ve predicted this — a misdiagnosis of the planet’s most ambiguous quadriceps injury and here we are — Kawhi Leonard now seeks asylum from Toronto.
FREE HEALTHCARE TO THE RESCUE! — ALL THE OPINIONS YOU WANT, KAWHI! — He may not like the wait times but we’ll figure something out: even if it means throwing some comatose won’t-feel-a-thing patient out of a hospital bed temporarily so Kawhi can get a hangnail clipped. Whatever needs to be done to bring a championship to The Six, we are prepared to make it happen. We even legalized cannabis so maybe that helps the rehab and pain management?
Also, Toronto isn’t some barren fucking wasteland…
Everything is about timing — the Raptors are moving on from DeRozan after numerous playoff failures that he had a big hand in authoring. Every Raptor fan has been guilty of hating him at some point in his career, thanks to his polarizing style.
Rhyme off all the achievements and records — all great — but he’s generally been trash in the playoffs. Kawhi Leonard meanwhile, is a Finals MVP.
Don’t get me wrong, I love regular-season DeMar DeRozan.
Sportsnet’s Donnovan Bennett put it best…
All that said, no titles. Not even a Finals appearance.
The last two years — for all the regular-season success — saw Toronto suffer embarrassing playoff defeats. The Raptors can give DeMar DeRozan a statue but it can’t be too big…whether it’s Kawhi Leonard or someone else (GIANNIS!), a star will one day lead Toronto to an NBA championship, and play defense along the way. Maybe even drain a few threes too.
Sports is a cruel business and often times stories have bad endings…
This is the case for DeMar DeRozan the Toronto Raptor…he died a hero. Despite the struggles, the fan base remained by his side until his final breath…
…but who knows what would’ve happened if he remained in Toronto past this season? Another playoff failure perhaps, followed by a trade request? Then we are having an entirely different conversation.
Remember, DeRozan, at one time, considered requesting a trade out of Toronto.
The Raptors all-time leading scorer now gets to continue his pilgrimage towards greatness, highlighted by the desire for perpetual improvement — and he gets to do it alongside Gregg Popovich. There are far worse situations to find yourself going to.
For Kawhi, who knows where his head is at. He’s coming to a very good situation, playing for a team who, as of now, might be the favourites to come out of the Eastern Conference.
Does he like Drake? The NHL? The CFL? MLS Soccer? If he’s is an avid driver and we lose him because of the traffic, I’m gonna lose my shit. I figure he won’t dig the winter — and it’s coming.
The clock is ticking…
When both he and DeMar are ready to emerge from the comfort of a cloud-based chat room, put them each on private planes to ensure their crying doesn’t disturb other travellers.
As for Danny Green and Jakob Poeltl, they will remain distant afterthoughts in all of this…
Come to think of it, why weren’t they invited to the WhatsApp group? Smh.