- NBA fans think a cryptic tweet from LeBron James on Friday was meant to tease the arrival of Kawhi Leonard, who the Los Angeles Lakers hope to sign in free agency.
- James tweeted a six and the prayer-hands emoji – imagery that Drake has regularly used throughout his career.
- Others think James’ tweet simply meant he would be donning the No. 6 jersey this season.
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The Los Angeles Lakers were the first team to make a splash in the NBA offseason, trading away young players and picks to bring Anthony Davis to the purple and gold.
Since then, the Lakers have stayed busy, pulling off several moves in just a few hours on Thursday that put the team in a position to sign another superstar and form a new “Big Three” alongside Davis and LeBron James.
One critical part of the Lakers’ having enough space to bring in another player was Davis’ decision to waive a $US4 million trade kicker he was entitled to, giving Los Angeles the $US32 million necessary to offer a max deal to an incoming free agent.
When news broke that James had opted to give Davis No. 23, just hours after Davis gave up his $US4 million bonus, fans on Twitter were quick to get conspiratorial, suggesting the two decisions were related.
A cryptic tweet from LeBron kicked speculation into high gear
NBA fans might have left things there, but a cryptic tweet from James late Thursday kicked those conspiracy theories up another level.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 28, 2019
The six. The prayer-hands emoji.
To some casual observers, the message was teasing James’ new number: Since he was giving No. 23 to Davis, James would be returning to his days of wearing No. 6, this time for the Lakers.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2019
But others thought the tweet went beyond that, serving as a signal that Kawhi Leonard would be joining James and Davis in Los Angeles.
Leonard just won the NBA championship with the Raptors, from Toronto, a city known as “The Six,” a nickname popularised by Drake, a Raptors superfan.
Conspiracy-minded fans think Kawhi Leonard is coming to the Lakers
Aspiring internet sleuths put these facts together and came to the conclusion that James was teasing not just his new jersey number but Leonard’s arrival in Los Angeles.
So Lou Will trash talked Toronto/THE COUNTRY of Canada to recruit Kawhi. LeBron cryptically switched back to #6 to get Kawhi from the 6. Nothing these guys do is low anymore lol
— Fran Kilinski (@Fran_Kilinski) June 28, 2019
Kawhi going to LA and Lebron going back to the 6????
— Keegan Ely (@ElyKeegan) June 27, 2019
Lebron either wearing 6 or praying for Toronto after he snatch Kawhi
— PRESSHA???????? (@1youngpharaoh) June 28, 2019
So Kawhi leaving the 6 and LeBron going back to 6 pic.twitter.com/vqVfejrMhJ
— Rob (@robbur_) June 27, 2019
— Robert Guerra (@TheProducerRG) June 28, 2019
LeBron could have just been making a winking joke
The Lakers will certainly do all they can to bring Leonard to Los Angeles, as his presence on the roster would immediately make them favourites to win the title in 2020.
That said, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Leonard joining a Lakers superteam is still far from becoming a reality.Some think the Raptors, after their title run, are the favourites to keep Leonard on his next contract, given the massive deal he could sign next summer should he return to Toronto for just one more season.
Chances are, James was simply making a winking joke with his tweet, while hoping he can persuade Leonard to join the team when they meet in the offseason.
We won’t know anything for certain until free agency begins in full on Sunday – but until then, there’s sure to be more clues on Twitter to tide fans over.
- Read more from Tyler Lauletta:
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