A giant billboard of Kawhi Leonard just popped up in Oakland, California. The billboard ad features Leonard with his game face on next to the slogan “The King Of The North Is Coming”. The Kawhi Leonard billboard went up just days ahead of the Raptors Game 2 face off against the Golden State Warriors in Toronto on June 2nd. The massive ad is smack dab in the heart of enemy territory, which has caused more than a few strong reactions from Golden State fans.
The Raptors' performance in Game 1 of the NBA Finals quashed predictions that the franchise would crumble under the pressure of finally being in the spotlight. So, it makes sense that Toronto would clap back with a new billboard in Oakland just to let Californians know what’s up.
Spotted on an Oakland Highway👀 #KingOfTheNorth #WetheNorth @NewBalanceCan @newbalance @darrenrovell https://t.co/8NSiIwreQR— On The John Sports (@On The John Sports)1559309971.0
Some fans were taken aback by the billboard and have taken to Twitter to try and decipher its meaning:
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports Interesting they’re using the ‘king of the north’ moniker. Maybe New Balance has an inkling that he’s staying? 🤔— zak (@zak)1559311914.0
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports He....stay?— Chris Cartwright (@Chris Cartwright)1559314460.0
@LegionHoops @smart_4lec reassigned to GS??— Jonny Gutierrez (@Jonny Gutierrez)1559313558.0
Others simply admired the advertisement for what it is - a masterclass in trolling.
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports This is the greatest ad of all time.— Mary (@Mary)1559313264.0
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports next level trolling here— BleedRaptorblood (@BleedRaptorblood)1559312695.0
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports https://t.co/Ffl0AqxVOV— IanP (@IanP)1559314969.0
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports LOLLLL trolling your own customers!— Christopher Black (@Christopher Black)1559312144.0
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports great marketing staff— OttawaDarrrrn (@OttawaDarrrrn)1559312977.0
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports This is amazing! @newbalance has some fantastic marketing staff!— sonia🤘 (@sonia🤘)1559312917.0
And with the Game Of Thrones finale still fresh on everyone’s mind, it was hard not to make a connection between the New Balance slogan and the show’s famous “King Of The North” title:
@LegionHoops We all know what happens to the King of the North 🤷♂️— Squirrely Dom (@Squirrely Dom)1559313766.0
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports I hope he gets a better ending with more seasons.. unlike the previous king of the north.— AlexD (@AlexD)1559314507.0
@BlakeMurphyODC @OTJSports https://t.co/AXibYcfRuZ— Jordan Brannon (@Jordan Brannon)1559312351.0
@CitrigliaD @LegionHoops Got sent back beyond the wall lol— CANG (@CANG)1559317003.0
Leonard put up a stunning 24 points, eight rebounds, and five assists during the first game of the NBA Finals, leading the Raptors to a 118-109 win. The Raptors will be making their way to Oakland, California on June 3rd for Game 3 of the series.
Leonard and his teammate Danny Green were traded from the Spurs to the Raptors back in July of 2018 in exchange for DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Pöltl.