The LA Clippers took a $50,000 slap on the wrist from the league for what sources are calling, “inconsistent statements” regarding Kawhi Leonard’s health status.
This all comes after Kawhi sat out last night’s marquee matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo due to “load management”. Longtime NBA insider David Aldridge shared the following statement from the league:
“Following additional review of the LA Clippers not playing Kawhi Leonard in last night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA has confirmed that the team’s decision to sit Leonard for management of an injury was consistent with league rules. 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.”
The Warmup crew reacts to the Clippers’ fine regarding Kawhi’s health issues. pic.twitter.com/Pt8F1u1jWo
— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 8, 2019
The Clippers have insisted for weeks that they intend to follow the plan enacted by the Toronto Raptors last season — which has become known in N.B.A. parlance as “load management” — which restricted Leonard to playing in just one of two games in every back-to-back situation when he was healthy.
In his only season in Toronto, Leonard appeared in only 60 of 82 games. Capitalizing on his freshness, he led the Raptors to the franchise’s first championship and was named the most valuable player of the N.B.A. finals for the second time in his career.
This is the second time the league levied a $50,000 fine for comments made by Rivers regarding Leonard. The NBA determined he was guilty of tampering when he compared Leonard to Michael Jordan while working as an analyst during ESPN’s NBA playoffs coverage.