- The Los Angeles Clippers considered buying Kawhi Leonard’s personal “Klaw” logo from Nike to woo him in free agency this summer, according to a report from The New York Times.
- According to the report, Nike would not be willing to sell the logo to prevent New Balance, Leonard’s new sponsor, from using it.
- Buying the logo may have also been a violation of NBA rules by the Clippers.
- The Clippers are considered by some to be the front-runners to land Leonard, but the Toronto Raptors’ Finals run could affect the race.
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The Los Angeles Clippers are one of several teams who will be vying for Kawhi Leonard’s services in free agency this summer, and they have gone to unusual lengths to gain an advantage.
According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Clippers’ methods have included looking into buying Leonard’s personal “Klaw” logo from Nike to woo Leonard in free agency.
Leonard reportedly designed the logo, which is a drawing of his hand that forms the initials “K.L.,” when he was still with Jordan Brand. It was dubbed “The Klaw,” which is also his nickname because of his massive hands.
According to Stein, a source from Nike said the company would be unlikely to give up the logo, which would free up New Balance, Leonard’s new shoe sponsor, to use the logo. Stein also said there is a belief that buying the logo to give to a player would violate some NBA rules.
The Clippers have been trying to get their foot in the door with Leonard all season. The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported in December that the Clippers had sent team officials to Raptors games, just to make their presence known.
The Clippers have seemingly emerged as the front-runners to land Leonard this summer. Leonard is from southern California and has reportedly expressed a desire to play close to home. The Clippers also have a sound organizational structure and better supporting cast to put around Leonard than the Los Angeles Lakers. There have also been rumours that Leonard would like to be the No. 1 option on a team, which would dissuade him from joining LeBron James and the Lakers.
Of course, the Toronto Raptors are hoping their Finals run will persuade Leonard to re-sign with them this summer.
Leonard himself has been silent on the issue, and with one month remaining until he hits the open market, his desire remains a mystery.
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