Nate Robinson says Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio
The Kawhi Leonard drama has extended to the brink of the regular season — still not returning to the floor or rejoining his teammates in practice as initially hoped. Some of his veteran teammates have sort of called him out over the past weeks, but nothing has changed in this storyline.
After the recent back-and-forth between a players-only meeting and his unwillingness to go back on the floor, former NBA player Nate Robinson said during his HOLDAT podcast that the San Antonio Spurs star wants out.
“From what I heard, from a little birdie, what I heard that the reason why he doesn’t, not that he doesn’t want to play, is that he doesn’t want to be in San Antonio no more, is because that I heard a big bag was coming. But if he doesn’t leave San Antonio that bag is not coming.”
There could be some truth to Robinson’s words, as this wouldn’t be the first time the Spurs had skimped out on players, after doing so continually with the likes of Tim Duncan, the king of discount contracts, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, etc.
There’s clearly a divide between the Spurs organization as a whole and Leonard, and it wasn’t any more evident than when head coach Gregg Popovich claimed Leonard would be back when he and his “group” feel like he can return.
All season, the legendary coach had to be at his most creative and resilient as his best player continued to sit out for too long.
Pop did his best impression of Pontius Pilate and washed his hands in front of the media — showing that Leonard’s return to action is solely on him, and not the team. The “group” he talks about does not only include his own medical personnel, but also his advisors and his uncle, who has been his manager all along.
Robinson added some of his chipwood to the fire, noting Leonard would prefer to end up somewhere closer to his hometown.
“Believe you me, he definitely wants to be somewhere especially like being at home,” said Robinson.
An L.A. native, Leonard could cash in big as a free agent in 2019 — though the openings for the Lakers could be closed if they manage to land LeBron James and Paul George this offseason.