Photo: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images
A few hours after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake shook Southern California Friday night, the region was jolted yet again when Kawhi Leonard reportedly agreed to a four-year max contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, and the team also reportedly traded for Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George.
Yahoo Sports first reported the Leonard signing, and ESPN first reported the George trade. Many NBA fans were left in shock, considering most of the chatter surrounding Leonard’s free agency had been related to him joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Los Angeles Lakers or returning to the Toronto Raptors.
One surprising group also took a victory lap after Leonard’s decision: Warriors fans.
FULL COVERAGE: Clippers trading for George, signing Leonard
The best-case scenario for Warriors fans probably would have been Leonard remaining in Toronto and the Eastern Conference, but many appeared to celebrate the fact that the reigning Finals MVP chose not to sign with the Lakers. The Lakers would have been overwhelming title favorites had they landed Leonard, but his decision to join the Clippers has instead left the Western Conference wide open.
“The Warriors are the only team in the West with four All-Stars,” Bay Area News Group’s Dieter Kurtenbach tweeted in reference to Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and the newly-acquired D’Angelo Russell.
“You know what’s scary? The Warriors sneakily looking like title contenders now just when we thought the dynasty blew up,” a fan tweeted. “Steph DLo and Dray keep them as a top 4 seed just long enough for Klay to show up.”
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“Alright. Gonna go on record,” NBC Sports Bay Area’s Brian Witt said. “Warriors finish higher in the West standings than the Lakers this season.”
Other Warriors fans reveled in the fact that many of their longtime nemeses — including LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and the Los Angeles Lakers organization as a whole — were widely mocked after Leonard and George bolted for the Clippers.
“A lot of people are disappointed today,” one user tweeted. “But remember: Nobody took a bigger ‘L’ than LeBron James. Nobody.”
Click through the slideshow above to see reactions to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joining the Clippers.
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