A new report from the Sacramento Bee chronicled the poor relationship between the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard.
In the midst of the San Antonio Spurs’ run in the 2018 NBA playoffs, the mystery of Kawhi Leonard’s status looms over the team. His absence at Game 1 and 2, while an injury Stephen Curry accompanied his teammates on the sidelines, became the storyline of the series. There’s no indication the San Diego State product will join the squad for Game 3.
Well, if anything do not expect contact between the two sides on this, as Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee (h/t Bleacher Report) chronicled the poor relationship, and the details seem worse than what ESPN reported.
Leonard apparently goes “weeks” without a response to calls or text messages from the organization, aside from occasionally contacting one unnamed teammate. Voisin tied this to his absence from the team’s bench for the playoffs.
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If the lack of communication continues, Gregg Popovich may pursue a trade this offseason, as well. That would shake up the NBA’s summer unlike anything else, along with LeBron James’ potential departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly expressed interest in a Leonard acquisition.
As San Antonio’s 2017-18 season nears its end, each new report seems more indicative of how potentially poor this relationship is between organization and superstar player. It’s an unknown situation for a franchise that won championships and had a model of consistency for the past 20 years. Issues with LaMarcus Aldridge threatened to change this in the 2017 offseason, until a heart-to-heart conversation with Popovich changed the tune. This Leonard situation, given its media takeover, might need more than just a one-on-one talk.
This remains one of the NBA’s most cryptic stories of the season and does not have an end in sight. Maybe that’s the offseason when the Spurs can trade or re-sign Leonard, who has one year left on his contract. Either way, expect it to be a show this summer.