“Do you not have any empathy?” – JJ Redick COOKS Stephen A. Smith for calling out a ‘forced retirement’ for Kawhi Leonard

JJ Redick defends Kawhi Leonard against Stephen A. Smith's retirement comments

“Do you not have any empathy?” – JJ Redick COOKS Stephen A. Smith for calling out a ‘forced retirement’ for Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard’s injury has been a topic of discussion since he was sidelined due to swelling in his knee after Game 2 of the Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round series against the Phoenix Suns. It was later revealed that he had a torn meniscus in his right knee. Leonard played only two games in the playoffs before being ruled out.


The state of Leonard’s injuries has been discussed by well-known sports analyst Stephen A. Smith. On “First Take,” He referred to Leonard as one of the NBA’s most injury-prone players and argued that the Clippers organisation should push Leonard to take early retirement.

Smith further suggested that Steve Ballmer, the owner of the Clippers should “force” Leonard to resign because he cannot be trusted.

JJ Redick, a former NBA player, challenged Smith’s claims. Redick emphasised that Leonard’s work ethic is exceptional and that his injuries are distinct from those sustained by players in the past. The Clippers couldn’t afford to lose him, he added, especially with a new arena about to open.


“This guy gets after it. I understand the frustration with the ‘load management’ issue… You have not had any empathy for someone who has came back from two major leg injuries. … I knew you were going to go off the rails here. The idea of getting rid of [him] I don’t know what the options are. Let’s keep in mind they’re opening a new arena … They’ve got 1,160 toilets… they need people to use ’em.

Related: What happened to Kawhi Leonard’s father? Who killed him?

The Future of the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard

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Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the Clippers’ bench (image via Mark J. Terrill, AP)

The Clippers’ future is uncertain, particularly considering Leonard’s injury and nearing free agency. This off-season, Leonard is eligible to become a free agency, and the Clippers will need to determine whether to re-sign him and whether the risk is worthwhile.

Leonard’s injury might also affect the team’s ability to negotiate trades and sign free agents. The Clippers must make long-term strategic considerations in all of their decisions.


Despite the unpredictability, the Clippers have a solid roster that includes players like Paul George, Marcus Morris, and Russell Westbrook. Tyronn Lue is also a skilled coach. He has demonstrated his capacity to adapt and guide his group to victory.

Overall, Leonard’s injuries and Smith’s remarks have cast doubt on the Clippers’ future. For the squad to continue competing in the NBA, intelligent choices must be made.

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