Rift between Kawhi Leonard and franchise a ‘legit’ concern
The reported rift between the San Antonio Spurs and franchise cornerstone Kawhi Leonard has been one of the biggest headlines of the mid-season and according to various reports it has become a real issue despite the closed-quarter operations the organization has been known for.
According to a source, Leonard and the Spurs are indeed at odds on their relationship after his latest indefinite shut down.
“It’s legit,” a league source told Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger about the tension between Leonard and the Spurs.
In certain instances in the past, including at least one involving Leonard, the Spurs have been reluctant to entertain second opinions from outside doctors, a person familiar with the team’s medical approach told B/R.
“They think their medical people are so great,” the person said.
But the strain isn’t enough to create a divide so big that the two would be forced to part ways, according to the source.
“If they didn’t trade LaMarcus [Aldridge] when he was off the reservation last year because of jealousy over Kawhi, they’re not going to trade the best two-way player in the NBA over a medical protocol disagreement,” a rival GM said.
The Spurs have dealt with some key injuries after the end of the postseason, and while Tony Parker has managed to recover faster from an even worse quad injury, the team’s reluctance to let Leonard look at outside opinions from other specialists has caused some major frustration for an All-Star that is looking to get on the floor.
San Antonio usually tight-lipped about these in-house situations, but despite denials from Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and head coach Gregg Popovich, there’s always a lot more than meets the eye.