After the successful acquisition of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last summer, the Los Angeles Clippers immediately became the heavy favorite to fully dominate the Western Conference and bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season. Unfortunately, as of now, the Clippers are yet to live up to expectations from the NBA team that was supposed to rule the entire league. In line with their inability to become consistent on both ends of the floor, rumors are circulating about drama surrounding the Clippers.
According to a recent article written by Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic, there are some players on the Clippers’ roster who have struggled with the organization’s “preferential treatment” given to their two newest acquisitions, George and Leonard. Also, a source with knowledge of the Clippers’ dynamics reportedly told The Athletic that another major concern in Los Angeles is Leonard’s silence, which made some of his teammates question whether he is their “true leader” or not.
“He isn’t necessarily standoffish, sources say, and there are times when he lives up to that ‘Fun Guy’ reputation that has become part of his one-of-a-kind profile — even more so recently as he’s grown more comfortable around his teammates,” The Athletic wrote, as quoted by Yahoo Sports. “He’s certainly more talkative and playful behind the scenes than in front of the media, when he rarely says a word outside of the scrum of reporters who speak to him, on average, for a few minutes at a time. But there can be a tangible distance, sources say.”
The tension building in the Clippers’ locker room is real as recently confirmed by the comments made by veteran big man Montrezl Harrell. After the Clippers’ blowout loss against the Memphis Grizzlies, Harrell said that despite the high expectations from them, they can’t still be considered a “great team” in the league. Harrell urged his teammates to “wake up” and find a way to figure out how to consistently win games.
As The Athletic noted, Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers didn’t seem to like Harrell’s comments. Rivers believes that players’ frustrations are better off being kept internally to avoid creating distractions in the locker room. As of now, the Clippers must be doing something to quietly fix the ongoing drama inside the organization. Since voicing his frustrations, Harrell hasn’t talked to the reporters again and was reportedly upset that the media took his quotes out of context.