The Los Angeles Clippers and their head coach Doc Rivers have been constantly in news, albeit not for good reasons. The Clippers were in news again after been fined a reported $50,000 on Thursday for statements made by coach Rivers about Kawhi Leonard’s health status ahead of the game against Milwaukee Bucks.
Leonard was rested for Clippers 129-124 home loss to Milwaukee. The league initially supported the Clippers decision by saying that that the team’s decision to sit Leonard for management of an injury was consistent with league rules. But ahead of the game against Bucks, Rivers contradicted with the statement given by NBA by saying that Leonard was feeling great and that is what triggered the fine.
After Rivers' comment, NBA released a statement which said, “Following additional review of the LA Clippers not playing Kawhi Leonard in last night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA has confirmed that the team’s decision to sit Leonard for management of an injury was consistent with league rules. The team has reasonably determined that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee and has been placed by the team at this time on an injury protocol for back-to-back games."
“The NBA has fined the Clippers $50,000 for statements, including by head coach Doc Rivers, that were inconsistent with Leonard's health status.” NBA rules prohibit teams from resting healthy players for high-profile, nationally televised games, with a fine of $100,000 possible.
This is not the first time that Clippers coach was in the middle of a controversy. He was reportedly fined $50,000 last May for violating the anti-tampering rules when he compared Kawhi Leonard to Michael Jordan. At that time Leonard was playing for Toronto Raptors, who he led to NBA Championship. Leonard's arrival at Clippers has made the team a dominant force in the Western Conference.