Even as he repeatedly said otherwise, it had become abundantly clear during the season that a fracture existed between Kawhi Leonard, his teammates and the San Antonio Spurs' coaching staff. According to a report shared by ESPN reporter Michael C. Wright during his podcast, Kawhi hid from Spurs' staff when they visited him in New York during his rehab stint.

Combing through the many Kawhi/Spurs missed connection write-ups feels moot at this stage in the game. Back in April, head coach Gregg Popovich was asked when he believed Kawhi would return to the lineup. He suggested they (reporters) ask Kawhi himself: "So far, they say that he's not ready to go, so we can't do anything until that happens…and then we would have to decide what's going on from there." From there, the disturbance theories started to pile up.

Kawhi Leonard's team insisted the handle his recovery in lieu of San Antonio Spurs' staffers they feared might clear him to return too soon. Leonard made periodic visits to a rehab clinic in New York City. During a particular visit, his handlers apparently grabbed him by the arm and sequestered him out the building, like a leper leaving a safe house.