Kawhi Leonard Was Hidden From Spurs' Officials When They Came To Check In On His Rehab In New York This Past Season
"There was a point during [Kawhi's] rehab process in New York that some of the Spurs brass went out to see him in New York," Wright said. "As soon as those guys arrived to the building, Kawhi's people grabbed him and sequestered him to another part of the building. And so the Spurs' people couldn't even see him."
"...These are the types of things that are going on that people don't necessarily know about."
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't impressive. Granted, it's also disingenuous, immature, and unprofessional, but what Kawhi Leonard has managed to do to his reputation without so much as uttering one single word publicly is nothing if not remarkable. To make about a dozen different demands in regards to his future while (presumably) "speaking" only in blinks and nods is resourcefulness at it's finest. I understand the Spurs' frustration in having paid him upwards of $19 million dollars to play nine games of basketball and the world's longest game of hide-and-go-seek over the course of the last year, but a franchise that prides itself on efficiency should at least tip their cap to what's apparently been the most effective silent treatment in the history of fractured affairs. Given the state of modern sports media, a professional athlete's mouth is what's most likely to do irreparable damage to his relationship with his employer. So while I hesitate to say that Kawhi Leonard is going about things like a real G, as "his people" have reportedly bullied him into looking like a complete brat, he doing quite the job of making moves in silence.
The truth is that I don't have a problem with one of the premier players in basketball using his power to concoct his own career path. The top-end talent having the upper hand is one of the things that makes the NBA unique in comparison to other sports in which half-dead white dudes whose only skill is shameless greed man most of the hierarchy. Unfortunately, I think it's become all too clear that we've long crossed over into unfamiliar territory in which a mute, of all people, is abusing that power. It was already pretty difficult to believe that the medical staff of an organization that has consistently aged it's roster more gracefully than Entourage was trying to make perfect their freak of a forward through malpractice. Now, however, it's near impossible to view an operation that been running smoothly for the last two decades as the party most at fault for what's shaping up to be one of the most bizarre breakups in sports history.
I suppose I can understand Kawhi Leonard being anxious to find a new home, but literally running away from the one in which he was raised under the parental guidance of Pop is about as ungrateful as it gets. If nothing else, the Spurs' culture at least partially aided in the development of their thin-skinned superstar. Not even having the decency to look them in the face as he was more or less slapping them in it by counting his checks while sequestered in a closet is some baby back bullshit.
Six months ago most would have considered Kawhi Leonard the consummate professional and without so much of a public peep he has made it so that's increasing hard to see him as anything other than the most impassive of petulant child. I mean, literally pissing and moaning all over Gregg Popovich's office until he got what he wanted would've been a less messy way for Kawhi Leonard to get himself to Los Angeles. Though, by choosing the route in which a grown ass man hid from the people who just wanted to check out his bill of health while they were healthily paying his bills, the inner circle of the soon(..er or later)-to-be-former Spur proved, on his behalf, that actions do speak a hell of a lot louder than words.