Given Kawhi Leonard's reputation, fair or otherwise, of not being the most emotional or vocal member of any roster, it can be difficult to imagine him taking the lead on recruiting players to the team he plays for. Yet, it was a simple and very on-brand text from the two-time NBA Finals MVP that helped get Serge Ibaka to the Los Angeles Clippers this offseason.
While speaking to reporters after signing with his new team, Ibaka revealed that Leonard initiated the idea for a potential reunion of the two players. Both were on Toronto's roster in 2019, when the Raptors defeated the Warriors in six games to win the franchise's first NBA title.
"He texted me, 'Hey, what's up?'" Ibaka said. "I said, 'What's up, bro?' A moment later: 'Bro, are you coming or no?' Just picture Kawhi and his voice ... it was funny."
Leonard's reputation as the quiet guy has elevated moments like this one to a whole other level since it's a perceived rare moment of him actually speaking. It's what also helps moments like his famous laugh during a Raptors press conference, or the story of his "board man gets paid" trash talk in college.
Ibaka wasn't just a teammate of Leonard's, he was also a co-star in another viral hit featuring the man occasionally nicknamed "The Claw" when the two were hanging out in the back of a car.
With any luck, the two will have an opportunity to recreate moments like this as they spend time in Los Angeles.