San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Everyone wants to know where Kawhi Leonard is

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO,TX - MARCH 13 : Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs still not playing talks with teammate LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs during game against the Orlando Magic at AT&T Center on March 13, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - MARCH 13 : Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs still not playing talks with teammate LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs during game against the Orlando Magic at AT&T Center on March 13, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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With a tough first half against the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs fans want to know where Kawhi Leonard is.

The San Antonio Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard for all but nine games this season. So when he was ruled out of Game 1 of the 2018 playoffs, against the Golden State Warriors, it did not come as a surprise, unless NBA fans felt otherwise. However, based on the first half of Game 1, viewers wished Leonard was around.

To close the first half, the Warriors took a 57-41 lead, including a double-digit point run after the Spurs closed the game to a five-point deficit. San Antonio hit 3-pointers, but found trouble on other parts of the floor.

With Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and other, notable Warriors roaming the court, even without Stephen Curry, everyone wondered where Leonard was amidst this. He did not sit with the team on the bench, so Twitter speculated about his status:

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If Kawhi TRULY was medically cleared to play & is healthy but he’s sitting himself out while this Warriors team is missing Steph & is vulnerable then he’s literally quitting on not only the team but the entire city of San Antonio

— Brandon Awadis (@brawadis) April 14, 2018

Wonder what Kawhi Leonard is actually doing right now

— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) April 14, 2018

What if Kawhi was really like Tommy Gunn from Rocky V and he got tired of Duncan’s shadow and everyone calling him Pop’s robot.

— Jesse Blanchard (@blanchardJRB) April 14, 2018

It’ll be interesting to see if anything gets leaked out of Kawhi’s camp in the next couple days based on this national in-game discussion.

— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) April 14, 2018

there's gonna be a conspiracy doc on netflix in 20 years about this Kawhi situation

— Pounding the Rock (@poundingtherock) April 14, 2018

You know, I’m not mad at Kawhi or anything but not being on the bench during the playoffs is not a good look. Healthy or not.

— Quixem Ramirez (@quixem) April 14, 2018

Kawhi watching his team down 16 at half… pic.twitter.com/oVdxNPCP5K

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 14, 2018

Would really like to know what’s going through Kawhi, well, at any point ever, really, but especially watching this given the situation.

— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 14, 2018

alright guys I'm just gonna come out and say it… we might need Kawhi to beat the Warriors

— Pounding the Rock (@poundingtherock) April 14, 2018

Idc , if I was Kawhi and slightly hurt, I’d play… if I had any shot to play in the playoffs for a chance for the title. I’m playing. Maybe that’s why he’ll never have that mamba mentality

— Spurs Legion (@SpursLegion) April 14, 2018

The Spurs’ silence on Leonard’s status, along with no indication that he’s anywhere but New York for injury rehab, should mean he will not come back for not just the first round but any point of the playoffs, pending advancement over the Warriors. So, it’s either the start of the 2018-19 season or never, given the potential talk around his future this offseason.

Fans will continue to be critical until there’s clarity on Leonard’s status, which does not seem imminent. It will take the aforementioned offseason move, signing a contract extension this summer or joining the Opening Night lineup in October.

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The Spurs vs. Warriors series will carry on, with or without Leonard. Does this team stand a chance at making this a series, even with LaMarcus Aldridge as the lead man? It should make for an interesting topic of conversation for the next week.

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