Kevin Durant weighed in this week on Kawhi Leonard being injured for the Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round NBA playoff series against the Phoenix Suns.
Coming into the postseason, many were excited to see Durant and Leonard do battle.
Following Game 1, it seemed like the Clippers and Leonard might actually have Phoenix’s number. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off shortly after that.
L.A. lost in Game 2, and then Leonard was ruled out of Games 3 and 4 with a knee injury.
After the Suns took a commanding 3-1 series lead by beating the Clippers twice at home, Durant offered his thoughts on the Leonard situation.
Kevin Durant: “I’m more disappointed that Kawhi is injured again… It’s also fun getting a chance to compete against him. Well not fun, it’s a challenge.”
Me: “Why isn’t it fun?”
KD: I mean, you’ve seen how he plays. He’s tough. It’s nerve-wracking. pic.twitter.com/BdJfIXDeV7
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 23, 2023
“I’m more disappointed that Kawhi is injured again more so than the matchup,” Durant said.
“Obviously, that’s always fun playing against an all-time great. I don’t know Kawhi that well, but he seems like he loves the game, loves to play, he just loves to hoop on this stage, especially around the playoffs.
“I’m more disappointed for him that he’s not doing what he loves. But it’s also fun getting a chance to compete against him. Well, not fun, it’s a challenge getting a chance to compete against someone like Kawhi. I hope he gets back out there soon. I hope him and PG get back healthy soon.”
Durant then elaborated on why Leonard is such a tough player to face off against.
“I mean, s**t you’ve seen how he plays,” he remarked.
“He’s tough. You gotta be ready every possession. It’s nerve-wracking is the word I would use.”
This has been a rough week for Leonard. Between his sister getting life in prison without the possibility of parole, Stephen A. Smith’s comments on his personal life and now his injury, it has just been one disaster after another.
Another reason to root for the Kings to beat the Warriors. https://t.co/0g6itVYrel
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 24, 2023
To say that his time in Los Angeles hasn’t gone as planned would be an understatement.
Will Leonard ever be able to reverse this unfortunate pattern and lead the Clippers deep into the playoffs during his stint with the organization? An answer will emerge over the next couple of years.