Megdal also reported that Johnson was reluctant about signing Plum before the draft. Johnson called Plum, McBride, and Jefferson the team’s three marquee players:
Just imagine Kayla pushing the ball, Johnson said with evident relish, and you have Plum and MJ running the wing. And then you have Plum and Kayla on the wing: great shooters! Or you have Plum pushing it, and then Kayla and MJ on the wing. Great things. I see great things.
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While this vision sounded great in theory, Johnson has yet to make it a reality. In the first 14 games of the season, Johnson struggled with inserting all three players on the court at once. The Stars continuously decided to not make general manager Ruth Riley and Johnson available to field questions concerning the matter. Instead, the organization released an email statement from Johnson:
Kawhi does all his business on the court. Off the court, as Penny Hardaway recently noted, he doesn’t care.
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You know what, I couldn’t give Kawhi superstar because he’s just not a guy who likes commercials. He’s not a guy who wants to be the face of the league. He just wants to get his work done.
Irving, whose signature shoe sold second-most among NBA players behind LeBron, would immediately join a championship contender on national television nearly as often as Cleveland. He would add flare and flash to an ostensibly dull San Antonio franchise and give it a young, talented point guard to go toe to toe with the Russell Westbrooks, Stephen Currys, and Chris Pauls of the Western Conference.