In a shocking report by Jovan Buha and Joe Vardon of The Athletic, some Clippers players may have expressed frustration regarding the preferential treatment being given to Kawhi Leonard from the Clippers organization, including “bristling” when Leonard would take game-days off for the sake of load management.
“Players like Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams—Clippers bedrocks before the arrival of Leonard and George—bristled when Leonard was permitted to take games off to manage his body and to live in San Diego, which often led to him being late for team flights, league sources said. The team also allowed Leonard to dictate to Doc Rivers when he could be pulled from games, among other things. Tyronn Lue was on Rivers’ bench for all of this, but the Clippers were Rivers’ show.”
Unfortunately for the Clippers, the team’s secondary star, Paul George, was also reportedly creating a problem with his teammates.
“In the postgame locker room Tuesday night, George was preaching to teammates to remain committed, for all the players to return to the team this offseason and stay ready to make another run. It was met by some eye rolls and bewilderment, sources said, because George did not back up his words with action in the series and the team has multiple free agents with decisions to make.”
These locker-room mishaps headlined a Clipper season that was supposed to end in a Championship. And now, even as they stand in the aftermath of a disappointing campaign, dysfunction is having its way.
In response to the Kawhi report, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams responded, denying to give any validation to the claim.
Lou Williams: “Dawg, I don’t even know what bristle mean. Lol @jovanbuha where y’all get that from? Out ya source.”
Montrezl Harrell: “Man y’all create anything for story huh lmao”
Lou Will denies report that he was “bristled” by Kawhi’s load management pic.twitter.com/JVrWuIvtAh
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 17, 2020
Kawhi Leonard is the de-facto star of the Clippers, so it’s not unusual for him to be getting special treatment from the organization — especially considering he’s only got one more season remaining on his contract.
Nevertheless, it seems his treatment is rubbing some folks the wrong way, even if nobody will actually admit it.