By Sean Hartnett
Drake and Snoop Dogg are putting on a full-court press to recruit two-time NBA champion Kawhi Leonard. The 28-year-old free agent forward is mulling over the prospect of remaining with the Toronto Raptors versus forming a “super team” alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Drake, who serves as a global ambassador the Raptors, has offered Leonard a role on his OVO record label in effort to keep the two-time NBA Finals MVP in “The Big Smoke.” Leonard met with the Raptors on Wednesday and the four-time Grammy winner was integral to the pitch.
“Kawhi Update: Raptors had strong meeting yesterday,” NBA insider Chris Broussard tweed. “Drake heavily involved. Talked of having Kawhi involved w/his OVO record label. Kawhi in deep soul searching. Wants Lakers but wants to make sure Big 3 will fit/work. Clippers out. It’s between Lakers & Raptors. Very close.”
Fresh off leading the Raptors to their first-ever NBA title, Leonard has narrowed down his list to the Raptors and Lakers. The frenzy has reached the point in Toronto that the media followed the Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment plane that Leonard boarded and tailed the car carrying Leonard. Fans and media alike gathered outside Yorkville’s Hazelton Hotel, the site where Leonard was believed to be meeting with the Raptors’ contingent.
Snoop Dogg has taken a vocal approach in trying to persuade Leonard to choose “The City of Angels” over “The Great White North.” The veteran rapper took to Instagram to serenade Leonard to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.”
“Kawhi, Kawhi, tell me that you’ll be a Laker. Kawhi, Kawhi, come back to L.A.,” Snoop sang.
Expect more public pleas from Los Angeles and Toronto celebrities to come. Leonard is a hot commodity given his championship pedigree and after posting the strongest statistical season of his career. The 6-foot-7 star finished last season with career bests with 26.6 points-per-game and 7.3 rebounds-per-game.