The recent trend of “load management” in the NBA has become a contentious issue, especially for fans who spend their hard-earned money to see the league’s best players do their thing on the court.
The league recently passed a new set of rules aimed at curbing the practice of sitting out stars every now and then merely for rest.
One team that has been criticized for the practice of load management is the Los Angeles Clippers, who have occasionally rested star forward Kawhi Leonard as a concession to his injury concerns.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Patrick Beverley, a former Clipper and teammate of Leonard, said that the Clippers weren’t doing load management — they were sitting out players such as Leonard because he was actually hurt.
Patrick Beverley on the new load management rules:
“Why every time they show the team they show the Clippers? Every app I’ve seen it on they showed Kawhi and PG. That’s fucked up… They’ve just been hurt.”
— Joey Linn (@joeylinn_) September 20, 2023
When healthy, Leonard has been one of the NBA’s better players because of his two-way ability, but he has had frequent and chronic injury problems.
He has had a quad condition for several years that seems to flare up every now and then, and he has also missed lots of games over the last three years due to other injuries.
During the 2021 NBA Playoffs, he suffered a partial tear of the ACL in his right knee, which forced him to miss the rest of the postseason and all of the following season.
This past year, Leonard sustained a torn meniscus in that same right knee and missed the last three games of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns, all of which they lost.
Meanwhile, his co-star Paul George has failed to appear in as many as 57 games in a season since coming to the team four years ago.
The Clippers are likely headed toward another early postseason exit this season, and a chief reason why is the perpetual injury woes of Leonard and George.NEXT: Kawhi Leonard Talks Importance Of Having Russell Westbrook Back