Word got out that Kawhi Leonard was going to play an exhibition game in the Philippines against the Phil. National Team along with some NBA stars but the official event page quickly got changed and it was just another blip in the Twitter feed.
Before and After. Kawhi and No Kawhi. pic.twitter.com/TmwGhLehHJ— Camille B. Naredo (@camillenaredo) June 25, 2014
Just hours ago though, Kawhi was back and promised by the impresario of the thing, Manny Pangilingan.
Pangilingan (or "MVP") is a Paul Allen type who swims in cash. He's a big shot guy (owns a couple of pro basketball teams, bankrolls a couple of national sports teams, owns a nationwide television network, owns the AT&T of the Philippines, etcetera) and since the confirmation came from him directly, this would be a done deal.
Three years ago, he brought Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant (healthy), Derrick Rose (healthy), James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Derek Fisher, Derrick Williams, and JaVale McGee. He reportedly paid Durant, Bryant, and Rose $400,000 each for participating in the two-day event. The NBA players faced the Phil. National Team back-to-back with the stars of the local pro league.
As things stand, Leonard will play with Kyle Lowry, Paul Pierce, Damien Lillard, Blake Griffin, DeMar DeRozan, and Rockets 2014 draftee Nick Johnson out of Arizona. The team will be coached by John Lucas.