After the news of his latest injury was released, not a lot of people came out to defend Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers.
There has been a chorus of analysts, writers, and fans who have called on the Clippers to move past Leonard.
There have even been many calling on him to retire from the NBA.
Former player and current analyst JJ Redick gave a full-throated defense of Leonard on ESPN after multiple analysts blasted the Clippers star.
“It’s very obvious that you’ve played zero high-level basketball,” Redick said to Stephen A. Smith and Chris Russo on Wednesday’s First Take.
.@jj_redick responds to @stephenasmith saying Kawhi Leonard needs to be forced into retirement: pic.twitter.com/OrkcQRMclc
— First Take (@FirstTake) April 26, 2023
Redick took particular offense at Smith calling Leonard the worst superstar of all time.
“Do you not have any empathy for someone who has come back from two major leg injuries?” he grilled him.
Redick mentioned his own experiences with Leonard and noted that the man is very dedicated to being healthy and working hard on perfecting his body and his physical state.
“If he could play, he would play,” he added.
He also said that the Clippers don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to letting go of Leonard.
They are just a couple of years away from opening a brand new arena and they can’t risk being in the middle of a long rebuilding process when the doors are opened.
They need fans and lots of them – getting rid of Leonard doesn’t help them with that.
Redick is one of the few people standing up for Leonard during this injury because he can speak from experience.NEXT: NBA Analyst Discusses Frustrating Clippers Fact