Somehow in all the craziness of the NBA in the last 24 hours, it might be easy to forget that a report on Monday indicated that Kawhi Leonard was seeing his relationship with the San Antonio Spurs sour. According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Michael C. Wright of ESPN, Leonard was not happy with how the Spurs were dealing with his quad injury. Further, Jalen Rose reported that Leonard straight up wanted to leave San Antonio.
All of this seems crazy, because Leonard is known for being a low key player and the Spurs are great at avoiding this kind of locker room drama. But a few months after a player requested a trade for the first time during Gregg Popovich’s tenure, these rumors of discontent regarding Leonard came to light.
If you ask Leonard’s uncle/business manager, though, these rumors are not true. We know this because Jared Zwerling of Sports Illustrated spoke to Dennis Robertson, Leonard’s uncle/business manager, and he said they were not true. Funny how that works out, eh?
“Dennis called me, we had a nice chat,” Zwerling said on SI Now on Tuesday. “Actually, before he called me, Dennis had a chat with R.C. Buford, GM of the Spurs, and it was a great conversation. Overall, here’s the consensus: the story is farthest from the truth. That was a quote from Dennis. We talked about the situation. Really, there’s no issue between Kawhi and the Spurs.”
As is always the case when something like this happens, it is important to note that this is obviously what someone who has a vested interest in a player’s future would say. It would be very weird for Robertson to come out and say “yeah, Kawhi is mad and wants to leave San Antonio right now,” so obviously, he is going to play this down the middle even if it’s not true. That’s especially true since Leonard qualifies for the super-max extension this summer, which would pay him well over $200 million.
But still, this is a good and reassuring sign for the franchise. Losing Leonard would be a massive blow for San Antonio, and this is exactly the kind of thing those with a vested interest in the Spurs would want to hear out of someone in his camp.