A Mad Men guide to the 2018-19 NBA Season

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
8 of 25
nba media day
(Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

“We should get married.”

“You think I’d make a good ex-wife?” — Toronto Raptors

The song and dance, if nothing else, has been admirable.

After Chris Haynes initially tweeted out that Kawhi Leonard had “no desire” to join the Toronto Raptors following the trade from San Antonio, someone with a brain got to Leonard and informed him that he had finally backed himself into a corner. What followed was the requisite photo op, complete with a barely discernible smile (followed up this week by the laugh heard round the association). A country could breathe easy.

For at least a few months, that is. The prevailing wisdom is that this is a glorified rental, although it’s clear that Masai Ujiri thinks differently. And why shouldn’t he? Toronto has an amazing culture, a track record of success on the court and in the front office, and a man in charge who is as widely respected as any in the league. They’re like the Eastern Conference version of…

…the Spurs, who just watched Leonard nudge his way through the door. So much for ideal situations.

For whatever reason, it seems that the former Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year seeks something more than a stable, winning situation. Maybe he thinks his unique brand of offbeat humor will be all the rage in a bigger market. Hipsters will flock to buy his KL1’s, exclusively from Crocs. Sitcoms will pay millions for new, Kawhi-inspired laugh tracks. The possibilities are endless.

Either way, it’s nine months ’till he can get out. In that time, the Raptors will do everything they can to avoid becoming Kawhi’s second jilted ex-lover.

At least they’re walking in with open eyes. The same can’t be said of…