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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Report: Some Clippers have struggled with superstar treatment of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George

Kawhi Leonard

The LA Clippers instantly became title contenders when they traded for Paul George and signed Kawhi Leonard over the summer. Leonard had just led the Toronto Raptors to the championship and was named NBA Finals MVP. George was having an MVP-type season until he was derailed by shoulder injuries. Adding to the two players was a huge, franchise-changing coup for the Clippers.

But as great as the addition of both players has been for the organization, it has also brought new problems to the team.

Leonard and George are superstars, and superstars often receive star treatment. That is definitely the case with Kawhi, who adheres to a load/injury management schedule and often misses games even when the perception is that he is healthy.

Last season’s Clippers won 48 games and took two games off a vastly superior Warriors team in the playoffs. Many attributed the team’s success last season to their tough attitude and hard-nosed style of play. The load-management style is in contrast with the hard and grinding style the team had the season before.

That change in ethos, coupled with some of the star treatment Leonard and George receive, has been a difficult adjustment for some Clippers players, according to a report published Thursday by The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Sam Amick.

From the article:

Off the court, sources say there are some teammates who have struggled with the organization’s preferential treatment that is afforded to Leonard and George.

The entire article is very much worth your time.

A team needing to make this kind of an adjustment to having superstars is part of the process when you acquire players like Leonard and George. It’s not an easy transition, and that’s what makes it challenging for superteams to win in their first season together. But if anyone knows what it takes to win it all, it’s Leonard. And while it’s frustrating to see the preferential treatment at times, the Clippers should trust that things will work out overall.

Clippers fans, show everyone who runs Los Angeles with this great “We Run LA” shirt:

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