We were hoping that it didn't come to this, but in all honesty, that was a pipe dream.
Kawhi Leonard sat out Wednesday night's nationally televised showdown against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks due to the ever-prevalent (and controversial) load management imperative. Head coach Doc Rivers insisted that Kawhi wasn't healthy enough to feature in the clash, however, and the NBA has swiftly fined the Los Angeles Clippers $50,000 because the comments were allegedly "inconsistent with Leonard's health status" officially.
Did anybody else just roll their eyes in sheer indignation? If this fine is any indication on how the season is going to play out, the load management saga is going to drag on and on with no end in sight.
Given the manner in which Leonard's scheduled rest worked out for the Toronto Raptors last season -- he only appeared in 60 regular season games and then delivered the franchise their first-ever championship -- the Association had to predict that the Clippers would deploy a similar blueprint, no?
What makes the league's settlement all the more exasperating is the fact, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski states, that the league is essentially fining the Clips (Doc Rivers) for publicly supporting Kawhi.
It's not even about the potential of the two-time Finals MVP milking an injury to ensure that he is fresh for the postseason! Do we really think that Leonard isn't fully healthy eight games into the season?
It's going to be a long season at this rate, folks, so prepare for the occasional migraine. We strongly advise that all basketball fans invest in some Advil.