5 years before Kawhi Leonard attended Kendrick Lamar's 'The Pop Out', The Claw recruited Paul George at Drake's Los Angeles home

Kawhi Leonard once used Drake
Kawhi Leonard once used Drake's mansion in California as his free agency meeting place before signing with the LA Clippers in 2019. [Image: Clippers IG, Drake IG]

In the summer of 2019, the LA Clippers made arguably the biggest move of the offseason when they acquired Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. “The Claw” left the Toronto Raptors in free agency after leading the franchise to its only NBA championship. He reportedly sent feelers to the Clippers about playing for them but only if the team gets another star to form a 1-2 punch.

Ramona Shelburne gave a glimpse into some of what had happened behind the scenes that led to George and Leonard’s arrival. In a cover story for ESPN in 2020, Shelburne wrote:

"There were countless text messages and phone calls and then two in-person meetings at Drake's house in Hidden Hills, California.

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Considering that Drake was the Toronto Raptors’ global basketball ambassador, it was stunning that he allowed Leonard to use his mansion. The then-newly named NBA Finals MVP made “Drizzy’s” abode his go-to-meeting venue on at least two occasions, per Shelburne.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George eventually got what they wanted when the LA Clippers announced their signing. The Clippers hyped them as the California kids who were returning to play for the home team. For good measure, the two even reportedly snubbed the LA Lakers who also wanted their signature.

Before Ramona Shelburne’s story, few knew how Drake helped change the balance of power in the entire NBA in 2019.

Kawhi Leonard’s use of the rapper’s mansion five years ago has returned to the spotlight after the All-NBA forward recently attended Kendrick Lamar’s concert. “Drizzy” and “K-Dot” were engaged in a nasty diss track battle over the past few months. Many considered Lamar’s “The Pop Out” show as his victory lap over his equally famous rival.


Kawhi Leonard was spotted smoking joint while watching Kendrick Lamar’s ‘The Pop Out’

Unlike LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, who were spotted vibing to Kendrick Lamar’s “The Pop Out” show, Kawhi Leonard was vintage chill. The two-time NBA Finals was even caught smoking a joint while the event was ongoing. He was content to sit back and enjoy the artists’ performances in front of a loud and engaged audience.

Leonard probably had very little reaction when Russell Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan went on stage to have fun. The two didn’t hold back when the ultra-popular “Not Like Us” was performed by the Grammy and Pulitzer prize-winning rapper.

Drake must have seen how the said NBA stars trooped to see his rival’s concert. It wouldn’t surprise many if reports come out that “Drizzy” is keeping his homes away from athletes.

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Edited by Michael Macasero
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