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Doc Rivers on Kawhi Leonard’s free agency, NBA’s investigation into Uncle Dennis’ rumored requests

Doc Rivers, Kawhi Leonard, Uncle Dennis

PLAYA VISTA – The LA Clippers held practice on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the highly-anticipated Christmas Day game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Head coach Doc Rivers discussed the upcoming matchup, but was also asked about one of the bigger stories to come out this week surrounding Kawhi Leonard and his uncle, Dennis Robertson.

On Monday, The Athletic released a report stating that Uncle Dennis made improper requests to teams competing for Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

“Sources say the league was told that Robertson asked team officials for part ownership of the team, a private plane that would be available at all times, a house and — last but certainly not least — a guaranteed amount of off-court endorsement money that they could expect if Leonard played for their team. All of those items, to be clear, would fall well outside the confines of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.”

With the report coming just days before the Christmas Day showdown, Rivers said the story won’t serve as any kind of distraction to Leonard or the team.

“That’s no distraction to us,” Rivers stated after practice. “I didn’t read it obviously. But everything I heard, it’s a pretty empty story. There’s nothing there. So I don’t know why it would be a distraction for us. Definitely not for our guys. I think it’s a distraction for you guys. How long did it take you to read that story? There’s no distraction right there. You could’ve been doing something else.”

According to Sam Amick, the Clippers were investigated following the signing of Kawhi Leonard, but were cleared of any wrongdoing. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told The Athletic the investigation would remain open, as all cases with free agents are, in case new evidence comes to light.

“They investigate every year,” Rivers responded when asked about the investigation. “I don’t know why that is news. Every year, someone signs, there is going to be an investigation. That’s fine. The key is once you’re clear.

“From what I know, I don’t think we were the only ones. The NBA investigated six teams. I don’t know that. But I know there was more than one. We should. That’s what we have to do and make sure things are done right. The NBA said it was.”

Earlier in the day, Leonard addressed the report, saying he had no knowledge of the story or its contents.

“I don’t know,” Leonard told media following practice. “I didn’t read it, so I don’t know how reliable it is. I don’t have no knowledge of it. I have no knowledge of it, people make up stories every day.”

The Clippers will continue to focus on their Christmas Day matchup against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, which will tip off Wednesday night at 5PM PST on ABC.