Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard Puts Family First With Rest, Load Management

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers

Getty Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers stands on the court

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard’s post-game treatments and resting regiment are often criticized but there is a motive behind it all – his son.

Leonard’s son, Mark, who is a Canadian citizen was born March of 2019 and is second child to his daughter Kaliyah Leonard who was born in July of 2016. In what was a rare occasion, Leonard discussed his private life following the Clippers’ 103-97 victory over the San Antonio Spurs game on Thursday. He shared that he wants to make sure his body is in good shape and healthy after he retires so that he can play basketball with his son.

Ben Golliver of the Washington Post reports Leonard stated, “I just want to be able to walk strong when I’m done playing this game. My son motivates me to keep playing. Once he gets to the age to play basketball, I want to be able to play with him still.”

Kawhi Leonard’s Load Management Carries Into 2019-20

Kawhi Leonard, Doc Rivers

GettyKawhi Leonard #2 and Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers

Leonard’s absences are often attributed to “load management,” a term that is used to describe rest. He appeared in just nine games during the 2017-18 season with the Spurs because of lingering problems with his right quad. Last season he was limited to 60 appearances during the regular season of his 2018-19 run with the Toronto Raptors.

His current team, the Clippers have followed the lead, as he sat out for the first time this season when the Clippers faced the Utah Jazz.

Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report reveals head coach Doc Rivers stated that he wants Leonard to remain fresh all year.

“Our goal is to have him playing and being fresh all year, and we’re doing that so far,”  Rivers told reporters “I keep saying this: He’s not the only guy we’re having those conversations with, and every team is doing it. We’re just trying to do it, I don’t know, I’m trying to say more efficiently than others. But we’re learning as we go.”

Kawhi Leonard’s Postgame Routine

Leonard has an extensive postgame routine that goes beyond the NBA etiquette that players be available for media interviews within 45 minutes of the game’s end. He lifts weights, rehabs any sore or tight body part and then receives a massage, according to USA Today Sports. In addition, throughout the week he also focuses on healthy eating habits. The 28-year-old father nearly spent an hour and a half on treatment following Thursday night’s win over the Spurs. This is not rare for Leonard as he is accustomed to lengthy post-game treatments.

Although having key players such as Leonard who takes games to rest benefits the player it can be looked down upon as many fans purchase tickets to see their favorite stars perform. We can still expect to see him sitting out of games again in the future. Not only is this beneficial for Leonard and his family but it helps him to prepare for the post-season. Leonard at this point in his career is predominately focused on winning championships and in order to accomplish this he focuses on resting when needed throughout the course of the long 82 game season.

READ NEXT: No Paul George, No Problem: Clippers Impress to Start NBA Season