No superstar in NBA history has ever won back-to-back titles with two different teams.
The NBA has had its fair share of legends be a part of its league ever since it inaugurated in 1946. None have ever won back-to-back titles with two different teams. Nor has one repeated as champion while playing a full season in each conference. Then there’s the case of Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard, the reigning NBA Finals MVP committed to signing with the Los Angeles Clippers. Fresh off defeating the Golden State Warriors in 6 games in these past Finals, Leonard chose to go back home from Toronto to occupy Staples Center for 41 games. Oh, did we forget to mention that he’s also going to be there with Paul George? You do remember that the Lakers also call Los Angeles home, right? That they also have two superstars on their team; Anthony Davis and LeBron James? This is what legacies are made of.
Before Leonard let the basketball world know where he was going to play next season, the other Los Angeles team vying for his services was already the favorite to win the NBA Title. The Lakers were early favorites after finally trading for Davis and were poised to go for a dynastic run if they could land Leonard. He landed in Los Angeles alright. With the Clippers’ acquisition of Leonard via free agency and trading for George, the Clippers have now become the favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy next June.
You do know what that means, right? You do know that if the Clippers win the chip, Kawhi’s probably going to win Finals MVP. Again. Back-to-back. With two different teams. In two different conferences. The first time ever. Kawhi Leonard has done that before. Although Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James have won titles with two different teams, they’ve never done it in each conference. Kawhi has. He knows about ‘first time ever’. Of course, we’re not comparing Kawhi to Wilt or LeBron. However, neither of them were ever in the position Kawhi’s put himself in. A championship parade for the Clippers in downtown Los Angeles, while besting the Lakers and their two superstars, would cement Leonard’s legacy as an all-time great. If he does this, would you put him over LeBron in the greatest of all-time conversation? Would he be ‘the best player in the world’?