Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs are, contrary to recent reports, A-okay—or so Kawhi’s camp will have us believe.
ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Michael C. Wright and Zach Lowe damn near broke the internwebz on Monday when they brought word that Leonard and San Antonio weren’t seeing eye-to-eye as he continues rehabbing his right quad injury. Here are the juiciest details from their piece:
Months of discord centering on elements of treatment, rehabilitation and timetables for return from a right quadriceps injury have had a chilling impact on San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard‘s relationship with the franchise and coaching staff, league sources told ESPN.
Under president and coach Gregg Popovich and general manager RC Buford, the Spurs have a two-decades-long history of strong relationships with star players, but multiple sources describe Leonard and his camp as “distant” and “disconnected” from the organization.
Woj and crew, to their immense credit, included quotes from Spurs general manager R.C. Buford denying the report. And soon after, Kawhi’s uncle, Dennis Robertson, said the following to the San Antonio Express-News‘ Jabari Young:
“There is nothing true to that story,” Robertson told the Express-News hours after the story published. “Kawhi’s camp and the Spurs are how they’ve always been – doing the right thing for the team and the right thing for Kawhi.”
Neither Woj nor Wright nor Lowe reports smoke where there isn’t fire, so we should place serious credence in this report. But it does seem like whatever tension may exists has become a problem only because everyone involved is frustrated and confused over Leonard’s health bill. He missed the first 27 games of the season dealing with this right quad injury, only to then shut it down a few weeks after his initial return.
Once the Spurs and Leonard have more answers—or at the very least a timeline for his return—things should settle down. So until then, please resist any and all urges to propose trade-machine solutions. Leonard isn’t going anywhere.