NBA fines Clippers $50K over Kawhi-related comments

NBA fines Clippers $50K over Kawhi-related comments
By Reuters

08/11/2019 at 01:18Updated 08/11/2019 at 01:20

The NBA fined the Los Angeles Clippers $50,000 on Thursday for comments made about Kawhi Leonard and his injury status.

On Wednesday, the league said it accepted the Clippers plan to sit Leonard,
who was listed on the injury report with an ailing knee, in the first of
back-to-back games. He did not play in a 129-124 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks -
a game that was nationally televised by ESPN.

But a remark later made by coach Doc Rivers caught the attention of the NBA.

"I think Kawhi made a statement that he's never felt better. It's our job to
make sure he stays that way. That's important. But he played a lot of minutes
in the playoffs last year," Rivers said. "So, it's not, uh, a health thing
really. It is in some ways. We want him to just keep feeling better and
getting better."

In a statement announcing the fine on Thursday, the league said it continued
to believe that Leonard has an injury but questioned Rivers' remarks.

"Following additional review of the LA Clippers not playing Kawhi Leonard in
last night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA has confirmed that the
team's decision to sit Leonard for management of an injury was consistent with
league rules," the statement read. "The team has reasonably determined that
Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left
knee and has been placed by the team at this time on an injury protocol for
back-to-back games.

"The NBA has fined the Clippers $50,000 for statements, including by head
coach Doc Rivers, that were inconsistent with Leonard's health status."

The Clippers host the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night on TNT, and
Leonard is expected to play. The forward, who signed as a free agent with the
Clippers in the offseason, has yet to play both games of a back-to-back this
season and last played in a set in April 2017, when he was a member of the San
Antonio Spurs.

Leonard played in just nine games for the Spurs in 2017-18 due to a quadriceps
injury and played in just 60 of 82 regular-season games for the Toronto
Raptors last season.

--Field Level Media