Will he stay or will he get traded? The discussion of Kawhi Leonard has been rampant and all over the place in the past couple of weeks. Much has been made of Leonard’s request and there are a few people who are unhappy about it, one being Bruce Bowen.
“First, it was, ‘Well I was misdiagnosed.’ Look here: You got $18 million this year, and you think that they’re trying to rush you? You didn’t play for the most part a full season this year. And you’re the go-to guy, you’re the franchise and you want to say that they didn’t have your best interest at heart? Are you kidding me?…
“I think he’s getting bad advice,” Bowen said. “I think what you’re starting to see now is an individual given a certain amount of advice, and it’s not the right advice. Here it is: You were protected in San Antonio. You were able to come up during a time where you still could lean on Tim [Duncan] Tony [Parker] and Manu [Ginobili]…
“As a player, if I’m a leader of a team, my team goes on the road in the playoffs, I’m with my guys,” he said. “Because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about camaraderie. It’s about fellowship. It’s a brotherhood. When that didn’t happen, it’s all kinds of sirens and alarm signals that says to me, ‘Is this person fully vested?’ … I don’t want to take on a player who’s not willing to support his guys during the course of their time needing him.”
This is strong backlash coming from former San Antonio legend. While there may be some truth to his statement, I’m not sure if the timing of this statement is wise. Bowen is someone who has a strong voice in the San Antonio conglomerate. He’s not Tim Duncan or David Robinson, but his voice still rings bells around the NBA atmosphere.
This is not a situation that the Spurs would like to be in or a situation that they’re used to you but I’m pretty sure at the end of the day, they would like to keep Leonard on board. Talent like Leonard doesn’t come around often and that’s why they would like to keep him at all costs.
With that being said, when you’re trying to keep your superstar, you don’t want past legends coming out in the media talking down on him. Similar to when Tony Parker came out and said what he said in regards to Leonards injury, it doesn’t help the situation. The last thing that Leonard wants to hear is a former Spur trashing his name. Coach Gregg Popovich and the rest of management are trying to keep their Finals MVP interested in the organization and Bowen saying what he said, regardless of if it’s true or not, does not help San Antonio.