The Los Angeles Clippers believed they could stack newcomer superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on a core that was the eighth seed in 2019, but the team had chemistry issues on and off the pitch throughout the season. 19-20.
“How can you build a strong team with this [expletive] In progress? a team source said. “I thought from the start, ‘We are doomed. Kawhi wants too much special treatment. “
According to multiple sources, the Clippers have advantages over Leonard and George in terms of compromising the level of culture they had built up over the previous two seasons.
Leonard and George had power over the team’s training and travel schedule, leading his teammates to believe Leonard canceled several practices.
Leonard was allowed to live in San Diego and commute from there, which made him late for team flights.
While many Clippers had a level of acceptance for Leonard’s preferential treatment as a two-time Finals MVP, sources say the benefits George received was more of an issue. There was a feeling among some teammates, “What did you accomplish in the playoffs? Multiple league sources said.
Leonard and George did not bond with their teammates which could have improved the situation. Leonard often hung out with a close friend and Clippers assistant coach Jeremy Castleberry. George mostly stayed with Reggie Jackson and Patrick Patterson.
The Clippers hired Tyronn Lue, at least in part, because of his ability to hold star players accountable. Sources say Lue will look to push Leonard and George to give up certain demands or standards to set an example for their teammates.