Kawhi Leonard was one of the few guys who did not travel with the LA Clippers' squad to Orlando on Wednesday. The delay was primarily due to family reasons and The Klaw did arrive at Disney World on Friday evening. After completing the mandatory quarantine, Kawhi joined the rest of the LA Clippers crew and spoke to the media for the first time in months.
Much of the conversation regarding Kawhi has been about his fitness, considering the number of nights he took off for load management during the season. The LA Clippers' talisman had the following to add about his current fitness levels:
“I feel good. I was able to work out, get strong and prepare for this moment now that we’re in. It’s about to be the first practice today, so I’m excited."
Kawhi Leonard also looked back at how the LA Clippers reacted to the coronavirus outbreak. He stated that the franchise went with a no-risk approach with players quarantining themselves at home with their families.
Kawhi Leonard speaks on Black Lives Matter
A very important topic that Kawhi Leonard touched upon during his first media availability was the Black Lives Matter movement. He elucidated that his teammates have been dealing with the situation for a long time now and that he's going to continue to keep helping the community.
On being asked whether he would be putting any social message on the back of his LA Clippers jersey, Kawhi opined:
“It doesn’t matter if we have a statement on the back of our jersey, it’s about doing the work.”
The Klaw also added that whatever he's seen of the current situation is not new to him so he will continue educating people about the same.
Doc Rivers addresses how the LA Clippers will use Kawhi Leonard in Orlando
Head coach Doc Rivers was also available to speak to the media today. The LA Clippers were very cautious in managing Kawhi's minutes during the regular season. Since The Klaw was about to participate in his first team practice in months, Coach Rivers indulged in how the Clippers intended to put him to work.
“No limits, Kawhi is healthy for the most part. That still doesn’t mean that we don’t want to maintain him and get him through the first eight games and get ready for the playoffs. We want to be smart about this. Not just for Kawhi, it’s with everybody."
Snapshots from Kawhi Leonard's first practice with the LA Clippers are emerging on social media. We can only hope that The Klaw puts in his best foot forward in his side's quest for a first NBA Championship.