Congratulations, large outdoor advertising vendors, it’s officially NBA billboard season. Now that the Toronto Raptors have made history and won their first NBA title, the first ever by a non-American team, the league’s attention can finally center on what happens next. The draft is done and free agency is the big target, with a number of huge UFAs coming to the market once the moratorium begins on June 30.
The biggest of those free agents is Kawhi Leonard, who just led those Raptors to an NBA title. And one team’s fans have officially entered billboard season with a strong first splash of a pair of billboards in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Times reporter Andrew Greif, who covers the Clippers, noticed the pair of billboards around town over the weekend and tweeted out a pair of Kawhi Leonard-themed digital boards.
The first is a play on the Game of Thrones-inspired “King In The North” moniker Raptors fans have given Leonard, but this time the “north” is crossed out and replaced with “SoCal.” The other is a California license plate that says KAWHI on it. The license plate one has #ClippersNation on the bottom of it, so it’s pretty clear which Los Angeles team these are supposed to support. Though a ‘Kawhi’ California license plate could also mean the free agent is heading to the Sacramento Kings or even Golden State Warriors if they could somehow make the money work, but we see what they’re going for her.
It’s still unclear, however, exactly how much of an allure it is to return home for Leonard. He’s been incredibly tight-lipped about what his free agency plans are, even after the rush of emotion and outpouring of support he’s seen from people in Toronto following their first championship win.
His teammates in Toronto would absolutely love to see him come back, though they’re all saying the right things to the media. Still, free agency in the NBA is now also billboard season, and we’ve got a few up there already. It’s going to be a long late June, isn’t it?