NBA fines Clippers $50,000 for Doc Rivers’ comments on Kawhi Leonard’s health

first_img What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “It was shocking, but it doesn’t matter to me, you know what I mean? I’m not a guy who reads the media anyway,” Leonard said. “We’re gonna manage it the best way we can to keep me healthy and that’s the most important thing, me being healthy moving forward.”In his media address before Wednesday’s game, Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters that Leonard – who was was out with what was described on the Clippers’ injury report as “load management (knee)” – “feels great, but he feels great because of what we’ve been doing.”But as far as the league was concerned, the three-time All-Star missed the game (a 129-124 Clippers’ loss) because he was injured, not because he was resting.It was the disparity between the rationale that Rivers offered for Leonard’s absence and the medical reason that violated league rules, the NBA said in the release.“Following additional review of the L.A. Clippers not playing Kawhi Leonard in last night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA has confirmed that the team’s decision to sit Leonard for management of an injury was consistent with league rules. The team has reasonably determined that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee and has been placed by the team at this time on an injury protocol for back-to-back games.” Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Leonard expressed disappointment in the league’s decision.“I mean, for me, I’m on (Rivers’) side, you know what I mean?” Leonard said. “I’m a Clipper, he’s my coach, so that’s just disappointing. It feels like they want players to play if they’re not ready, but it is what it is. Like I said, I don’t read into it, I gotta do what’s gonna make me healthy and is gonna help the team be successful, and that’s me being able to play basketball games for us.”Leonard – who is averaging 29 points, 8.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.1 steals – also missed the first game of a back-to-back set last week in Utah. The Clippers also lost that game, which also was broadcast nationally by ESPN.Those games off are helping him deal with the injury, he said.“I mean, it just helps just from me pushing on something that’s not ready,” said Leonard, who scored a game-high 27 points Thursday. “So we’re just gonna keep managing it, moving forward. I’m not a doctor, that’s for the doctors and my training staff is for, letting me know. (I) just tell them how I feel and like I said, just gotta keep moving forward.”Leonard played nine games in his final season with the San Antonio Spurs, in 2017-18, when he was suffering from a quadriceps injury. After being traded to Toronto the following offseason, Leonard stuck to a load management plan that kept him strategically sidelined for 22 of the Raptors’ games – and healthy enough for an extended playoff run that ended in the franchise’s first NBA title.After signing with the Clippers, both the team and Leonard indicated that he didn’t plan to adhere to as stringent a load management schedule this season.“It’s different this season,” Leonard said at media day. “Last year, I was going in with an injury that I was dealing with the year before still lingering, and we knew that I had to be healthy going throughout the season and making it to the playoffs. But this year I’m feeling good, feeling way better than I was at the start of last season. But there’s really no plan laid out yet.”Related Articlescenter_img LOS ANGELES — The NBA fined the Clippers $50,000 on Thursday for statements it deemed inconsistent with what the team reported to the league regarding Kawhi Leonard’s health, indicating in a news release “that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee.”The famously private superstar, who joined the Clippers in free agency this offseason, confirmed that he’s been dealing with an injury that will continue to keep him from playing both games when they’re scheduled back to back.“No. That’s not what the doctor’s prescribing right now,” he said after the Clippers’ 107-101 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday at Staples Center. “That’s all I can say about it, we’re gonna manage it and just keep moving forward.”Leonard also said he was not pleased with the league’s decision to reveal the nature of his injury. Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Leonard missed two of the team’s first eight games.Meeting again with the media before Thursday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers – for which Leonard was in the lineup – Rivers was determined not to delve deeply back into the issue, saying he was “scared” even to answer questions related to load management. He also was careful about his response to the fine.“I think we said it all,” Rivers said. “I’m not getting into it, so no is the answer. What we said, we said, and whatever the release was, which I haven’t seen, is the release.”“Yeah, you’re always disappointed (in a fine),” Rivers added. “Sometimes you agree with a fine, sometimes you don’t. Doesn’t matter, that’s the one thing I’ve learned.”The league also fined the Clippers $50,000 for violating tampering following Rivers’ comments during last season’s playoffs, when the coach appeared in an ESPN special and compared Leonard with Michael Jordan, calling the Clipper-to-be “the most like Jordan we’ve seen.”last_img read more


Dodgers and Kenta Maeda get better of Zack Greinke again, 3-2

first_img“We’ve had a little bit of success against him,” Roberts said. “Today, he still pitched pretty well. But I was impressed with the at-bats we put on him. I thought we grinded more today, the way we’re capable of doing. So to be able to get him at 100 pitches through six and get to the ‘pen, I thought our guys did a really good job and (were) really only one hit away from getting him out earlier.”Chase Utley lashed Greinke’s first pitch into right field for a double, then scored two batters later when Justin Turner hit a triple. Turner scored when Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo let a pitch from Greinke go between his legs.The Dodgers put together another run-scoring rally in the fourth inning using one hit, a walk and an errant double-play turn by Jean Segura. Adrian Gonzalez had led off the inning with a single and trotted home on Segura’s wild throw.“They’re a tough team to pitch to because they don’t have a lot of holes,” Greinke said of his former mates.Asked about a pause he seems to have added to his delivery, Greinke flashed classic form.“That’s a really long answer and I don’t want to spend five minutes talking about it,” he said, ending the interview with that.Only one of the three runs off Greinke was earned, but the Dodgers needed all of it.Maeda allowed just one run in each of his two head-to-head matchups with Greinke, but Maeda was not at his best in this one. He needed 94 pitches just to get through five innings. But he allowed just that one run on three hits and three walks while striking out six and continuing to look like a bargain even as his cost rises.“It just seemed he was on the edges a little bit too much and I think missing with his fastball,” Roberts said. “With Kenta you can tell. When there’s a rhythm, he’s getting ahead of guys with his fastball, throwing the slider. But he’s around the zone, getting ahead, in a good rhythm. He didn’t really have it until the fourth inning.“It was a grind for him tonight. But he still found a way, like he seemingly always does, to give us a chance to win a baseball game. That’s a sign of a great competitor, which Kenta is, and a winner.”Maeda’s contract calls for a base salary of just $3 million this season but includes a series of performance-based incentives. The irregular nature of the contract was prompted by “irregularities” in Maeda’s physical, none of which have been evident in his performance.By reaching 160 innings for the season Friday, Maeda (15-9) collected another bonus, pushing his total earnings this year to $9.65 million. Another $1.5 million awaits when he makes his 30th start of the season Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants.Greinke (12-7) will make $34 million in the first year of his six-year, $206.5 million deal with the last-place Diamondbacks. PHOENIX >> It was not an “either-or” proposition. The Dodgers could very well have signed Kenta Maeda even if they had re-signed Zack Greinke last winter.But that hasn’t stopped Greinke’s two starts against the Dodgers (and, coincidentally Maeda) over the past two weeks from having the feel of two people formerly in a relationship awkwardly running into each other.The Dodgers have certainly moved on, heading toward a fourth consecutive NL West division title. They absorbed seven walks by Maeda and six relievers who stranded 11 runners on base to beat Greinke again Friday night in a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.“Wasn’t great. It was alright,” Greinke said after the game, sticking to his usual low word count. Greinke’s mood in a well-paid but certainly unsatisfying first season in Diamondbacks … grey? silver? pewter? … might be peaking out in his choice of walk-up music. Commentary on the Diamondbacks’ mislaid plans for contention, just a song or a cry for help, he has started using “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day.Greinke has walked a lonely road with the Diamondbacks, posting his highest ERA and WHIP since establishing himself with the Kansas City Royals.Two starts ago, he gave up a career-high five home runs in his first start at Dodger Stadium since leaving for the big bucks and sunsets of Arizona. Since returning from a six-week stay on the DL with an oblique injury, he is 2-4 with a 6.44 ERA for a team playing out the string with dark clouds hanging over its future.“I know there’s a big difference in the home and road splits. This is a tough place to pitch. But on the road he’s still the Zack Greinke we’ve all known he is,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said generously. Greinke’s ERA is a run lower on the road — but it is still over 4.00.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more