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Stephen A Smith Doubles Down: Claims Steve Ballmer And The Clippers Should Force Kawhi Leonard To Retire

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We've seen some weird beefs over the years between the media and NBA players, but this Kawhi/Stephen A situtation is perhaps the weirdest of all. Just 5 days ago he suggested that Kawhi Leonard was the worst superstars in the history of basketball. I'm not kidding, those were his words, not mine

Well now that the Clippers season has ended, Stephen A decided to double down on this stance

The whole rant is so bizarre. As we learned, Kawhi tore his meniscus 

which last time I checked is a very real injury. So it's a little confusing when Stephen A starts by talking about how he's not questioning the legitimacy of his injury, but then talks about how he's different from George because we saw George get hurt?


So his injury is legit, but then you're overall point is that his injury stuff is weird because he played in Game 2? Or that he has his own medical team? If a guy tore his knee then he tore his knee. That's it. There's no need to question the injury or any of that shit. Sometimes guys get hurt, that's basketball.

When he's on the floor, Kawhi is one of the best players on the planet. He's proven as much. Sure it sucks that he's been dealing with injuries these last few years, but I'm not exactly sure how that's different from guys like KD, Zion, Embiid etc. You don't hear Stephen A go on these types of rants for those guys, which is why this feels way more personal than it probably should be. 

The truth is, the window is closing on this Kawhi/PG13 experiment. Kawhi has a $45M guaranteed year next season and then a $48M player option in 2024-25 (which I doubt he turns down), and George has the same. If their series against the Suns told us anything it's that the roster has enough talent to compete. It wouldn't shock me if Westbrook sticks around given how he played once he got traded, but obviously, if you don't have your two franchise players nothing else really matters. This isn't a team that's in "blow it up" territory just yet, but that's probably coming after next season if they have another year like this.

In the end, this pairing/experiment may go down as one of the biggest NBA "what ifs" in recent memory. When they've had their guys, the Clippers are absolutely a title contender. It's no one's fault that guys get hurt, that's sports. 

But force Kawhi to retire? What are we even doing.