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Stephen A. Smith claims Clippers fans ‘don’t give a damn’ about Kawhi Leonard not playing

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The uprising from fans and critics after Kawhi Leonard missed the second of eight games for the Los Angeles Clippers had forced the NBA to release a statement verifying his load management injury after agreeing with team doctors that he should rest. Leonard has now been rested in two nationally televised games and while some are still irked to not see him don the Clippers jersey in a high-profile matchup against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith argued Clippers fans “don’t give a damn” if he misses time, keeping the end goal in sight.

“Kawhi Leonard isn’t 100% healthy,” said Smith on Wednesday. “There is legitimacy to that left knee injury he’s suffering from. And if you’re a Clippers fan, you don’t give a damn because it’s November. You’ll care on April, May, and June. I can assure you Clippers fans are not complaining about the few games he’s going to miss because they know where they expect to see him come playoff time.”

Leonard played only 60 of 82 regular-season games in 2018-19 for the Toronto Raptors, but he was expected to suit up more often for the Clippers, now a year removed from a quad injury that forced him to miss 73 games with the San Antonio Spurs. Though it seems the Clippers are taking a careful approach and are unwilling to push the limits, especially with Paul George so close to a return in the coming days.