The Clippers have some major chemistry problems, and it stems from Kawhi Leonard.
The Los Angeles Clippers were among the title favorites for the 2019-20 NBA season, but they were booted out of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion after blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals that ultimately led to Doc Rivers’ dismissal as head coach. Chemistry issues were cited as one of the main reasons LA didn’t work this year, and the latest buzz confirms that theory several times over.
According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, key role players like Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, and Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell were a bit ticked off at the fact Kawhi Leonard was allowed to sit out games whenever he wanted in the name of load management. Leonard could also reportedly live in his hometown of San Diego, which often made him late for team flights, and dictate to Rivers when he wanted to be pulled from games.
The Clippers have gone out of their way to appease Leonard
Leonard, who averaged 27.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game in 57 games during the 2019-20 season with the Clippers, lived up to expectations on the court, but he was a part of what was a very messy locker room that contributed to their early exit.
The Clippers will likely remake their roster in the wake of the collapse, and the hiring of Tyronn Lue as head coach might help cool tempers down in the locker room. However, a new head alone is not going to fix everything overnight.
Leonard had the option of either taking the money and staying in Toronto or joining the rival Lakers, so it’s not unreasonable for the Clippers to make him feel accommodated. However, going over the top like this ended up alienating most of Leonard’s teammates and contributed to one of the biggest choke jobs in NBA history. Lue certainly has his work cut out for him.