Kawhi Leonard Follows LeBron James’ Example To Earn Millions From Two Simple Words

Published 10/16/2021, 10:09 AM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) and Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard (2) chase the ball during an NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 111-106. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)


LeBron James has already shown his versatility on the floor throughout his career. Even as an investor, his portfolio comprises an array of sources of income. So much that Forbes recently declared him as the highest-earning basketball player of 2020-21. He shattered his own record in this aspect by a difference of whopping $14.7 million.

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So it is natural that other players who are also looking to secure their futures by diversifying their sources of income would try to replicate LeBron’s business model. Among them, it seems, is the Los Angeles Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard. He recently applied for a trademark for the phrase “Clip Gang” after being seen wearing apparel with that brand name recently.

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Now while Kawhi has said nothing about the reason for pursuing this trademark. However, it is clear that he wishes to commercially gain out of this brand name.

How is this trademark application related to LeBron James?

This trademark request reminds fans of LeBron’s trademark request for the phrase “Taco Tuesday” which was ultimately denied. However, in his case, it was denied because Taco Tuesday is “a commonplace term”. In Kawhi’s case, Clip Gang describes a group of fans that associate themselves to Los Angeles Clippers, just like Warriors’ DubNation.

However, unlike Taco Tuesday, Clip Gang could be justified as not being a commonplace term. Just like Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang, which is used to describe Khalifa’s followers and is a separate brand name. So this trademark might get approved.

However, the inspiration of exploiting anything that works, no matter how simplistic, and creating a brand out of it could be credited to LeBron James. Unlike Jordan, who created a brand name out of his own name, LeBron was the one who diversified into owning multiple brands. So while Kawhi might claim his idea to be original, it seems pretty obvious that LeBron inspired him.

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Even though LeBron failed in his endeavour to trademark “Taco Tuesday” but it’s the thought process that is similar. Is this becoming a common trend that NBA players are diversifying their income streams by investing in brands? Do you think that the NBA is getting too commercial by allowing players to focus more on the business side of the game? Let us know what you think.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

364 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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