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Sport Report: Clippers veterans 'bristled' at Kawhi Leonard's load management, preferential treatment

19:20  16 october  2020
19:20  16 october  2020 Source:   sports.yahoo.com

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The Los Angeles Clippers came into the bubble at Walt Disney World as an immensely talented squad, albeit with strong personalities. That seemingly caused tension within the ranks, an issue that came further into the light with reports on the hiring of Tyronn Lue as the team’s next head coach.

According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Joe Vardon, some players on the team “bristled” at what can be viewed as preferential treatment given to star free agent signing Kawhi Leonard.

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  The Clippers went all-in to build a super team and time is already running out to win championships The Clippers went all-in on Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and now have big questions to answer after coming up well short of the NBA Finals.However, the Clippers agreed to pay the whopping price because getting George also meant getting Kawhi Leonard, the most coveted free agent in 2019, who told the Clippers he wanted to play with George. The Clippers sent three first-round picks, three pick swaps, promising second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and forward Danilo Gallinari to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for George.

Some Clippers take issue with Leonard treatment

The Clippers signed Leonard, who won a ring with the Toronto Raptors in 2019, and Paul George in free agency last July. Both are California natives and joined a group that had been together for a couple of years already.

Leonard and Clippers coaches continued with load management for the star and he played in only 57 games during the season. That, along with a handful of other concerns, reportedly rubbed his new teammates the wrong way.

Via The Athletic:

Players like Beverley, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams — Clippers bedrocks before the arrival of Leonard and George — bristled when Leonard was permitted to take games off to manage his body and to live in San Diego, which often led to him being late for team flights, league sources said. The team also allowed Leonard to dictate to Rivers when he could be pulled from games, among other things. Lue was on Rivers’ bench for all of this, but the Clippers were Rivers’ show.

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There were signs of contention inside the Clippers locker room throughout the season. It came to a head when the team gave up a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals.


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Lue tasked with balancing personalities

Kawhi Leonard et al. playing a game of football: Some Los Angeles Clippers players were reportedly unhappy with the treatment Kawhi Leonard received. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports Some Los Angeles Clippers players were reportedly unhappy with the treatment Kawhi Leonard received. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)

Lue, 43, replaces Doc Rivers, who reached a “mutual decision” with the Clippers to leave last month. He will be tasked with balancing those star players and pushing them to a title, just as he did with LeBron James and company in Cleveland during the 2015-16 season.

Leonard and George were asked by the front office about coaches they were considering and what qualities they wanted in a coach, per The Athletic. But neither reportedly wanted a final say on the decision and only gave insight when the office asked.

Lou Williams fires back at Kawhi Leonard special treatment report

  Lou Williams fires back at Kawhi Leonard special treatment report Lou Williams had something to say about a report claiming he and his teammates took issue with the team’s treatment of Kawhi Leonard. © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Lou Williams seems to disagree with a report that indicated Clippers players resented Kawhi's special treatment. A report by The Athletic on Thursday indicated that Clipper veterans such as Williams, Montrezl Harrell, and Patrick Beverley “bristled” at preferential treatment Leonard received from the team. On Friday, Williams fired back on social media.

The former head coach spent the year as an assistant under Rivers and was one of two candidates who “checked every box on the Clippers’ internal checklist,” per The Athletic.

The team wants Lue to approach it as a blank canvas, as if he weren’t on the staff last year. But they also reportedly view it as an advantage since he knows what what wrong and to what coaching style each player reacts best.

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Breaking down a potential Chris Paul trade to the 76ers .
The 76ers changed their entire philosophy on a dime following another early departure in the NBA playoffs. It’s led to rumors that Daryl Morey will now look to reshape the roster in his mold. Could that include Chris Paul?It just makes too much sense on the surface for the 76ers. Not only did Paul suit up for Morey when he was the general manager of the Houston Rockets, new 76ers head coach Doc Rivers oversaw Paul’s ascension to stardom with the Los Angeles Clippers.

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