Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were introduced as official Los Angeles Clippers in their press conference on Wednesday. Owner Steve Ballmer stole the show with his clear excitement for the two stars he has acquired for his franchise.
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Leonard joins the Clippers after winning the NBA Title with the Toronto Raptors and obtaining his second NBA Finals MVP. George was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the two are reported to cost over $240 million in their two-year contracts, with an option of a third year.
“We talked basketball for two hours, three hours. I met some other people that he works with,” head coach Doc Rivers said, according to ESPN. “We went over a lot of stuff, especially offensively. But I don’t know Kawhi yet. We’re learning each other. The two things that have stood out for so far — and he actually did it again when he was up on stage, where he talked about, ‘It’s not just us two, all 15 have to buy into their role’ — is his understanding of accepting roles.”
Rivers won a championship back in 2008 with his Boston Celtics, when he had Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce when they were in the latter stages of their career, and sharpshooter Ray Allen.
Rivers has time to mold his team and further get to know his two new superstars. Rivers visited Leonard’s family and his home in San Diego, where Leonard was born and raised. George is also from California, with both superstars coming back to try to win championships in their native state.
“This group is new. This is our creation. I feel like that college coach, when you first get the job and you take all the recruits that are there and try to win with them,” said Rivers, according to ESPN. “And then you get your recruits. That’s how I feel. This is our team. … And we feel really good about it.”