Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard has been under fire in recent hours.
The veteran forward has been dealing with a knee injury that prevented him from playing in Game 3 of the Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers series.
After getting hurt in Game 1 and playing through it in Game 2, the Clippers decided to rule him out for the third game.
However, this decision didn’t sit well with many people, including Stephen A. Smith, who went off on Leonard.
I am SICK of Kawhi Leonard.
At this point, Kawhi Leonard should just retire!
Full episode of @KnowMercyPod https://t.co/2J3JxAx5QI pic.twitter.com/ax8PAeVkZG
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) April 21, 2023
“I just have to say it, I’m sick of Kawhi Leonard. Seriously, why don’t you just retire? I mean, the dude blackmails the Clippers into moving heaven and earth to acquire Paul George because he was threatening to go to the Lakers if they didn’t do what he wanted when they were trying to get him from Toronto. They gave him everything he wanted, all the money, manicures, pedicures, helicopter rides, private planes. They gave him everything. This brother has missed so many d*mn games it don’t make any sense… He’s missed more than 50% of his games. I think him and Paul George have played a grand total of three playoff games together. I mean, you just can’t make this up. 22% of their games together, altogether…. Can’t make it up. “
Kawhi showed flashes of his best version during the first two games of the series.
Nevertheless, when the most favorable part of the series arrived, he was not playing.
It’s easy to see why Smith is mad at this situation with Leonard.
Kawhi’s history with injury has become a big issue for the Clippers. He’s missed 628 games in his career and this trend doesn’t seem to be changing soon.
The Clippers stole the first duel of the series behind his 38 points, and were close to doing the same in Game 2.
Now, they are relying on Russell Westbrook to win Game 4 and tie the series against the Suns.
The load management strategy didn’t work for him, and now his team will miss him for a crucial match.
Even though Russ has been great on both ends of the court, he’s not enough to beat Phoenix.
Westbrook has averaged 22.3 points, 8.3 assists and 8.0 rebounds in three games so far.
On the other end, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker have been on a tear recently, and they’ll try to take a 3-1 commanding lead before heading back to Phoenix.NEXT: Stephen A. Smith Says 1 NBA Player Should 'Retire'