ESPN released a report that indicated tension between the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard. However, the star player’s camp refuted it.
On Monday afternoon, ESPN released a report that Kawhi Leonard was “distant” and “disconnected” from the San Antonio Spurs. This became the case throughout Leonard’s rehab process, as both sides differed on the return timetables and how things they were handled. Spurs General Manager RC Buford went against the story.
However, it does not seem that Buford was the only one to refute it. According to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News, Leonard’s uncle, Dennis Robertson, said there’s no divide between the star player and the organization:
“There is nothing true to that story,” Robertson told the Express-News hours after the story published. “Kawhi’s camp and the Spurs are how they’ve always been – doing the right thing for the team and the right thing for Kawhi.”
Robertson also told Young, “The bottom line is to get Kawhi healthy, and how both sides were in agreement.
The truth lies somewhere, which will be impossible to know. Either the Spurs and Leonard have friction or they do not. Maybe there was a disagreement earlier in the process, which went away before this ESPN report surfaced. Whatever the case may be, it’s difficult to pinpoint speculation on the matter.
These reports surfaced while Leonard remains out with “return from injury management.” It’s for the quad injury that kept him off the court for the season’s first two months, along with the cautious approach head coach Gregg Popovich took toward playing him. Couple these things together, and it’s resulted in just nine appearances for Leonard in the 2017-18 season.
This may continue to be a developing situation. Is there friction between Leonard and the Spurs? Should there be cause for concern?