One of the most peculiar and confusing stories this season is the ongoing drama between Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs. It is truly confounding as Leonard is one of the league’s quietest superstars who seemingly steers free from drama.
And the Spurs have been arguably the NBA’s model franchise for the past couple of decades. The issues stem from an ongoing quadriceps injury that kept Leonard out for all but nine games this season.
Leonard’s camp reportedly wanted to seek outside consultation, which the Spurs were initially resistant to and things grew from there.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Michael C. Wright recently dove into the issues surrounding Leonard and the Spurs and one person close to Leonard went so far as to say the organization isn’t open-minded:
Said one source close to Leonard, “The Spurs feel that they hire the best, that they do it better than anyone else. They deserve to have that reputation and that kind of ego. But they’re just not very open-minded. They don’t like others messing with their players.”
Meanwhile another Leonard confidant believes the Spurs are alienating their star player:
Said another Leonard confidant, “They’re alienating him. They’re making him look bad. You have this seamless transition from the Duncan era to the new era, this homegrown superstar. Like, why would you alienate him?”
This is obviously a very delicate situation, but one thing that is for certain is that both Leonard and the Spurs want him to get healthy and back on the floor. Further complicating matters is that Leonard is eligible for a super-max extension this summer and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019 if he doesn’t re-up with San Antonio.
There are apparently some concerns within the Spurs that Leonard’s camp could push him to a big market. There is no doubt that the Los Angeles Lakers are keeping tabs on this situation just in case the opportunity arises to land someone of his caliber.
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