Magic Johnson Hurt Lakers Pursuit of Kawhi Leonard

Ryan Phillips

Magic Johnson may have been the reason Kawhi Leonard picked the Los Angeles Clippers instead of winding up with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A report from The Athletic on Tuesday claimed Leonard may have been turned off after details from his meeting with Johnson were leaked. That likely sealed the Lakers’ fate.

A person involved in the process revealed the following to The Athletic:

"“I truly believe that when Magic started telling the media about the meeting he had with Kawhi and Dennis, that sealed the fate of the Lakers. I think that right there was when Dennis and Kawhi decided we can’t trust the Lakers as an organization. And that was it. I think that was it for them.”"

In late June, Johnson told Ramona Shelburne that Leonard requested a meeting with him:

After that, details from the meeting began floating around.

Johnson couldn’t keep the details from getting out even after Leonard’s reps made it known they wanted everything about his free agency to be kept private. It’s not shocking Kawhi and his reps decided to go in another direction after Johnson couldn’t keep his mouth shut.

The Lakers might have missed out on having the best trio in NBA history thanks to arguably the greatest player in their history.