“They are going to find themselves on the outside looking in,” Kendrick Perkins rips apart Los Angeles Clippers for ‘load management BS’ around Kawhi Leonard and Paul George


“They are going to find themselves on the outside looking in,” Kendrick Perkins rips apart Los Angeles Clippers for ‘load management BS’ around Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

Kendrick Perkins, Kawhi Leonard & Paul George

Kendrick Perkins is not happy with the Los Angeles Clippers. The former NBA champion and current ESPN analyst recently took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with the Clippers’ approach to managing the workloads of their two stars, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Perkins blasted the Clippers for what he deemed “load management BS”, accusing the team of being too cautious with their star players.

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Load management has been a theme in the Clippers’ ever since Kawhi and PG got to LA. Leonard, since his foot injury in San Antonio, has been notorious for randomly sitting out games instead of playing night in and night out. It was something that worked in Toronto, where he led the Raptors to their only NBA title in franchise history in his one season there. In LA, however, it hasn’t been the same success story and things came to a head with Kendrick Perkins at least, as the Clippers lost their 6th game in a row to the Atlanta Hawks at home.

Even though Leonard played in the game, the argument is rooted in the fact that if you don’t play enough, the team is not able to build enough rhythm before the big games in the playoffs roll around. That puts the Clippers at a disadvantage even before a game is played. Kendrick Perkins tweeted his frustrations with the Clippers’ cautious policy regarding Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

“Clippers keeping messing around with all that load management BS… they are going to find themselves on the outside looking in. I mean damn can we get 10 straight games with both PG and Kawhi playing?!!! Just saying tho…,” he said. Load Management is a big issue around the NBA with stars randomly sitting out games. Long gone are the days when Michael Jordan played all 82 games in a season 9 times in his career.

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Related: “You want to get back out there rather than sit and watch,” Kawhi Leonard slams Tyronn Lue for his horrendous game plan against Denver Nuggets

Is Kawhi Leonard, Clippers’ load management a real issue?

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard

The argument is a delicate one. On one hand, you have those that believe the playoffs are of the utmost importance and nothing before then matters at all. Teams should aim to just get to the playoffs with the priority being to keep their best players healthy. We have certainly seen teams being plagued by injuries that happened in the regular season. The most recent example is that of the Denver Nuggets who have played the last 2 playoff runs without star Jamal Murray.

And there is evidence to support that load management might be effective. In the 2018-19 season, Kawhi Leonard was 97th in total minutes played. In the playoffs, he was #1. The Raptors managed him in the regular season and turned up the heat in the playoffs and won a championship. That is part of why more and more teams today practice load management.

The other side of the argument is that the fans are what makes the NBA. And nowadays, buying a ticket, or being excited to watch a game to see our favorites play is very often, an exercise in futility. This is because, on any given night, a star of the caliber of Giannis, Steph, LeBron, KD, or Kawhi may choose to sit out the game with the purpose of resting. This ruins the fan experience and severely dampens overall interest in the NBA.

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Both sides present a compelling argument. As fans, we hate to see load management be so prevalent. The harsh reality is though, that it’s a business, and teams and players will continue to practice load management as long as they think that it gives them the best chance to win.

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