Clippers Fined $50K For Conflicting Statements On Kawhi Leonard

The NBA has fined the Clippers for inconsistent statements, including those by head coach Doc Rivers, regarding forward Kawhi Leonard‘s health status, according to a league press release.

Leonard sat out for the second time this season on Wednesday against Milwaukee as part of the team’s load management strategy for the superstar forward. Los Angeles’ decision to sit Leonard for ESPN’s nationally-televised game against Milwaukee was questioned in many circles.

Rivers unwittingly fanned the flames by saying in his press conference on Wednesday that Leonard felt just fine.

“He feels great. But he feels great because of what we’ve been doing… We’re just going to continue to do it,” Rivers said. “There’s no concern here. But we want to make sure. I think Kawhi made a statement that he’s never felt better. It’s our job to make sure he stays that way.”

Leonard’s absence was listed as a knee issue. The league’s statement regarding the fine indicated the team’s decision to sit Leonard was “consistent with league rules,” adding, “The team has reasonably determined that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee and has been placed by the team at this time on an injury protocol for back-to-back games.”

Essentially, the league has signed off on allowing Leonard to sit out a game on back-to-backs as long as the team doesn’t give the impression that Leonard is 100 percent.

The Clippers play the Trail Blazers in another nationally-televised event, this one on TNT, on Thursday night. Leonard played only 60 regular-season games in his lone season with the Raptors due to load management, which helped to keep him fresh for the postseason.

newest oldest

11 thoughts on “Clippers Fined $50K For Conflicting Statements On Kawhi Leonard

  1. Buckman

    Contracts for people like Kawhi should be incentive based with most of the $ coming from playoff performance. Basketball is smelling faintly like baseball where players are being saved for and used in specific roles. LAC couldn’t care less about the regular season, they want to make the playoffs and win the title. That is why Kawhi and PG13 were brought on board. The regular season is being devalued to some extent by the load management strategy.

    • Robert G.

      Agreed-regular season is devalued. Solution? Make it more valuable. Example: higher seed starts each series w one game lead. So, for a best of seven series, they would play six games max.

  2. IslandFlava

    Kawhi plays less than 60 games per season average in his career, go figure, is he that fragile?

  3. seth3120

    I don’t get why he requires so much “load management” every year. Even Popovich the king of sitting guys didn’t see eye to eye with Kawhi because of it. I understand sitting some guys but it’s too early. Get off to a good start and put yourself in position to know where you’re at then do it.

Leave a Reply