NBA fines Clippers $50,000 for statements about Kawhi Leonard

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NBA fined the Los Angeles Clippers $50,000 on Thursday for statements made by coach Doc Rivers and others that had been “inconsistent” about Kawhi Leonard’s well being.

Leonard sat out a 129-124 house loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday evening, the second time he’s missed the nationally televised entrance finish of a back-to-back this season. He had 27 factors and 13 rebounds in a nationally televised 107-101 win over Portland on Thursday evening.

“I’m disappointed. He’s my coach and I’m on his side,” Leonard stated of the high quality. “I’m not a doctor, but we’re going to do what’s best for me to be healthy so I can play basketball games. I can’t read too much into it.”

The NBA initially confirmed the Clippers had been compliant with league guidelines in resting Leonard due to a knee damage. It was what Rivers stated earlier than the sport that partially triggered the high quality.

“He feels great,” Rivers stated Wednesday. “But he feels great because of what we’ve been doing, and we’re just going to continue to do it. There’s no concern here.”

Rivers cited “a lot of minutes” that Leonard racked up final season whereas main Toronto to its first NBA championship.

“I think Kawhi made a statement that he’s never felt better,” Rivers stated. “It’s our job to make sure he stays that way.”

Less than 24 hours later, the NBA fined the Clippers for statements, together with these by Rivers, that had been inconsistent with Leonard’s well being standing whereas additionally detailing his knee damage. At the identical time, the league reaffirmed the staff was in keeping with NBA guidelines in sitting Leonard.

“The team has reasonably determined that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee and has been placed by the team at this time on an injury protocol for back-to-back games,” the league’s assertion stated.

Leonard performed 60 video games throughout the 2018-19 common season and one other 24 within the playoffs for Toronto. He averaged 30.5 factors and 9.1 rebounds within the postseason and was MVP of the NBA Finals.

Before coaching camp with the Clippers, the 28-year-old ahead stated he was feeling “way better” than he did at the beginning of final season and that no load administration plan was in place but.

Rivers indicated he was disenchanted by the high quality.

“I think we said it all,” he defined Thursday. “I’m not getting into it. What we said, we said.”

Leonard is averaging profession highs in factors (29.3), rebounds (7.3), assists (5.7), steals (2.3) and blocks (1.0). He’s averaging 30.5 minutes per sport.

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