Needless to say, the entire league (and one particular Fox Sports analyst) missed seeing Kawhi Leonard playing competitive basketball.
And fortunately for us, he has made his return to the court... Just not at Crypto.com Arena, nor with his Clipper teammates. But Leonard is back on the court playing basketball, and our closest look yet — aside from some grainy social media photos — came in a nationally televised commercial during the NBA Finals.
His competition? A 24-year-old American Rapper, Jack Harlow.
As part of New Balance’s #WeGotNow campaign, the two stars aligned for a game of 1-on-1 basketball in the newest New Balance gear. The camera pans to Leonard as Harlow passes him the ball. And after a few non-verbal exchanges between the two stars, they exchanged buckets — Leonard effortlessly drains a jump shot while Harlow caches in on a tough floater he threw over the defensive superstar.
Leonard’s allegiance to the American brand dates back to 2018, and he soon became the face of the athletics company. Posters of him decorate the streets of major cities around the world, and his signature shoe is a popular choice among other New Balance basketball sneakers.
Although most fans would’ve preferred his return earlier on this season, or during the play-in tournament, seeing Leonard laughing and shooting hoops might have to be enough for us until the start of next season.
The Clippers, much like New Balance, will also continue to build around Leonard in the hopes of having a successful 2022. And with a healthy roster, the Clippers are one of those teams that can boldly say, as New Balance’s slogan goes, #WeGotNow.