The perks the Clippers gave Kawhi Leonard, Paul George that irked teammates
The 2019-20 season ultimately came to a disappointing end for the Los Angeles Clippers, who were once considered to be heavy favorites for the title. More and more details have surfaced with regards to how the team pretty much imploded into what turned out to be a memorable campaign for all the wrong reasons. Apparently, one of the biggest factors that contributed to the team’s demise was how the Clippers provided preferential treatment for superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George — something that did not sit well with the rest of the team.
Jovan Buha of The Athletic provided a tell-all of how Kawhi and George’s perks irked their Clippers teammates:
But according to multiple league sources, the perks the Clippers gave Leonard and George began to compromise the standard of the culture they had built over the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons — the very culture that the Clippers used, in part, to attract Leonard and George to Los Angeles.
Some of those perks included:
• Leonard and George were the only players to have their own personal security guards and trainers.
• Leonard and George had power over the team’s practice and travel schedule, leading teammates to believe Leonard canceled multiple practices.
• Leonard was allowed to live in San Diego and commute from there, which often made him late for team flights.
• Leonard and George typically didn’t speak to the media until at least 45 minutes after games concluded, under the guise of postgame treatment or workouts. This usually resulted in their teammates speaking with the media first, and for longer, essentially becoming the public voices of the team.
• Teammates also believed that Leonard and George were able to pick and choose when they played. Not only did they sit out games entirely, but also at times they accepted or declined playing time in the moment.
These are some extremely strong allegations, and if they indeed hold true, then this speaks volumes of why there appeared to be no chemistry within the squad.
There’s no denying that superstars in any team get some sort of preferential treatment. Then again, these players are also held accountable for how they perform on the court, and perhaps more importantly, how they treat their teammates.
Leading by example is always a mantra expected from any true team talisman, and clearly, this was not the case for either Leonard or George.