The load management practice has been getting a lot of detractors in recent days and there is a case that’s getting more attention than the rest. Kawhi Leonard sat out on Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Clippers took on the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Clippers lost the game against the Bucks, leaving fans unhappy for not seeing Kawhi on the court. This is a complex situation for the organization and the league itself, as the 2x NBA champion is a big attraction for the fans.
Everybody has given his takes on this matter, including the 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis spoke with ESPN before his duel against the Clippers on Wednesday. He was asked about Kawhi’s load management strategy and gave an honest answer, claiming he would never do that.
“I’m not trying to be disrespectful with anybody or hurt anybody’s feelings, but I know he [Kawhi] is really a tough competitor, I know he definitely wants to play the game. I don’t know who tells him not to play or who tells him to take a break, but for me, nobody is going to tell you to take a break in a time when the NBA gives you 22, 21 days off throughout the season.
“What I feel is like I go out there and try to do everything so my team wins and coach Bud knows that and he would never come to me ‘look, Giannis, you gotta take a break in the game like this’. I would not allow that to happen, but at the end of the day every organization works a different way, we just gotta respect that.”
Even though he tried to be respectful, Giannis made it clear that he’s not a fan of these practices. However, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass released a statement to clarify Kawhi is not healthy right now and ‘is listed as managing a knee injury in the LA Clippers injury report’.
Once the Klaw comes back in full fitness, perhaps this whole load management thing will be a part of the past.