The LeBron Era goes into overdrive
But superstar demands, like Kawhi’s, could come at a price
BY DAVID THORPE
What started with The Decision by LeBron James nine summers ago has careened into this: Oklahoma City team president Sam Presti got a trade demand from Paul George via Kawhi Leonard–despite two years remaining on George's contract–and had two days to act on it if he was going to get any value for George.
Two days. George, who a summer ago had shouted to the crowd and cameras at a party ballyhooing his decision to re-sign with OKC, “If y’all didn’t quite get it, let me say it again: I’m here to stay,” was now pressuring the Thunder to trade him. And Kawhi was pressuring the Clippers to deal for George if they wanted Kawhi to play for them and not for Staples Center co-tenants LeBron, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers. Kawhi’s decision to play for the Clippers means he now can be recognized not only as a great basketball player but also as a top-notch general manager, among a chosen few who have not only directed their own destiny but made stipulations within the deal that the…