Leonard demanded a trade out of San Antonio after the mismanagement of his injury.
All of last season, Kawhi Leonard had a very public falling out with the San Antonio Spurs after he had a dispute with team doctors over his injury. Some felt like he should have been playing, although Leonard himself felt as though he simply wasn't ready to go. In the offseason, Leonard was shipped off to the Toronto Raptors and on Saturday, Leonard led the team to their first NBA Finals. Leonard's uncle, Dennis Robertson, has served as his advisor throughout his career and recently spoke to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports about his struggled with the Spurs.
"I think it just became a lack of trust," Robertson said. "They didn’t believe Kawhi couldn’t play and that caused a lack of trust in us and then us not believing in them."
Robertson went on to say that the Spurs medical staff didn't want to believe that Kawhi was in significant pain and kept clearing him to play even though it was obvious that he wasn't ready. For "Uncle Dennis," Leonard is too much of a competitor to just stop playing because of an injury. He tried to fight through it but at the time, it simply wasn't an option.
"Any time a player says he’s not capable of playing, you should believe him," Robertson explained. "Why would Kawhi just stop playing all of a sudden? He’s a competitor. Sometimes you get these team doctors telling you what you can and cannot do, and Kawhi was just in too much pain to get out there. This was a serious issue. They didn’t believe him, and after that, the relationship couldn’t recover and we decided we had to move on."
Leonard and the Raptors will start the NBA Finals at home on Thursday against the Golden State Warriors.