Earlier this month, the Los Angles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard sat out of LA’s nationally televised home game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The ongoing load management debate continued as the Clippers were fined $50,000 for comments made by Head Coach Doc Rivers about the Finals MVP’s status that “were inconsistent with Leonard’s health status.”
How much rest do NBA players need in an 82-game NBA season?
I checked in with the Washington Post’s
who appeared on the Scoop B Radio Podcast and gave clarity on the matter.
Check out a snippet of our Q&A below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: One thing that I found interesting in paying attention to your stories is just the way that you have written about and covered Kawhi Leonard early on. Last week the Clippers were fined for basically reporting….Doc Rivers’s commentary about Kawhi Leonard heading into the game, or whether not if he’s going to play, versus what the scouting report says as he related it to load management. Load management is a funny word. What say you on load management because it seems to be something that has spread in the NFL as well. If I’m not mistaken LeSean McCoy was on the scouting report for him and said HE’S OUT: Load Management. If you ruled the world for a day, how would you handle load management?
Ben Golliver: Well I’ll say this, I was open minded to the idea when it was first taking place because I understood the idea of keeping the big picture in mind trying to protect players and I’m definitely empathetic to that. But as it continued here, it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost seems like that it’s kind of overshadows the games and now it bothers me. I mean everybody freaked out so much because Kawhi Leonard sat out that game against Giannis and the Bucks here in Los Angeles. It was like a whole 2-day story everybody so mad about it and da-da-da-da… Meanwhile Giannis comes out has like 38, 16 and 9 and no one is talking about the game. So I think that some of the responsibility on the load management conversation is on us and guys like us in the media to not to lose sight of the real story which is sometimes, it’s about the guys who ARE playing rather than the guys who are resting. Now in Kawhi’s case, he’s been very reluctant to talk about his actual health, right? It’s been hard to get real specifics about what’s wrong with him and he’s just a private person. And frankly, who really wants to discuss their private health information in public? But what’s really become clear here in the last couple of weeks that the leg injury that he had dating all the way back in San Antonio is still the type of thing that requires treatment (constant treatment) after every single game he spends more than an hour getting treatment before he comes to talk to us reporter bozos so we’re sitting in an empty room waiting, waiting, and waiting for him every single game. So he gets that type of a treatment and they also just firmly believe that it’s in his best interest no to play on back-to-backs at all. So that means he going to miss at least 13 games this season, right? Now doing that comes at a cost. He’s not going to win the MVP if he misses 13 games, right? He’s not going to get as much attention or hype as a LeBron James if he’s taking nights off. He’s gonna catch some backlash from fans and from the media for supposedly being a “whimp” and “sitting out.” But ultimately his bet is, if I can pace myself I’ll be ready for the playoffs and that will give a chance to win a title, and it worked last year in Toronto and it could work again this year in Los Angeles. And the other thing that he said which was pretty poignant, he wants to have a long career but after he’s done playing he wants to be able to play basketball with his son whose really really young, right? So he’s thinking about this as a 15 or 20 year plan and from that standpoint, like there’s that song like “Stop Trying to Play God” is that….Travis $cott?….
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Yes.
Ben Golliver: That’s kind of how I feel. Who are these media members? Why are we trying to play God and tell Kawhi how to live his life, you know? Let him do what he wants to do and if he wants to be healthy in 20 years, that sounds good by me…