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Adam Silver explains difference of Kawhi Leonard’s ‘load management’ with Raptors to normal rest

Adam Silver, Raptors, Kawhi Leonard

The Toronto Raptors, perhaps, popularized the use of the term load management in dealing with the health of Kawhi Leonard. Most teams began using it this past season as an excuse to rest their players, but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says there’s a difference between load management and resting.

In an interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN, per Royce Young of ESPN, Silver explained that Leonard was using load management last season as part of a standard procedure that had something to do with the quad injury he suffered back in 2017.

“That term ‘load management’ is generally used in regard to rest. That’s not what the protocol was for Kawhi. We had a player coming back from having missed almost an entire season, and that was a protocol designed by doctors, physical therapists, as a way to bring him back to full health. So it’s very different, I think, for a player who is otherwise completely healthy who then chooses to sit out.”

Leonard missed 22 games in the 2018-19 season, most of them due to load management. However, it did help him in the playoffs, as he was able to lead the Raptors to their first-ever championship.

It is unclear if the ‘protocol’ mentioned by Silver regarding Kawhi will be carried over next season. However, it will definitely be beneficial to some teams like the Golden State Warriors, who lost Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson due to serious injuries — assuming that they both decide to stay with the team.