Kawhi Leonard’s uncle, known around the NBA as “Uncle Dennis,” has finally spoken out about the trade request out of San Antonio.
The uncle of the San Antonio Spurs star, who is part of Kawhi’s inner circle, revealed to Yahoo! Sports why the trade was requested.
Leonard spent six good seasons in San Antonio before sitting out the 2017-18 season over an injury dispute.
Ultimate, a breaking of trust resulted in a trade being requested.
Over time, the Spurs’ medical staff cleared him to play. Leonard sought a second opinion from an outside source and it was recommended that he continued rehabbing. The organization’s position caused teammates to question if Leonard had ulterior motives. That — along with constant leaks to the media detailing how frustrated the Spurs were with the ordeal — was the beginning of the end of a relationship that had otherwise been relatively healthy for six years.
Robertson revealed why it was time for Leonard to go elsewhere.
“I think it just became a lack of trust,” Robertson told Yahoo Sports. “They didn’t believe Kawhi couldn’t play and that caused a lack of trust in us and then us not believing in them. Any time a player says he’s not capable of playing, you should believe him. Why would Kawhi just stop playing all of a sudden? He’s a competitor. Sometimes you get these team doctors telling you what you can and cannot do, and Kawhi was just in too much pain to get out there. This was a serious issue. They didn’t believe him, and after that, the relationship couldn’t recover and we decided we had to move on.”
A lot of Spurs fans still haven’t gotten over the Kawhi Leonard saga – after seeing what he’s done in Toronto, it’s tough to blame them for that – but the star forward appears to be moving on just fine.
Leonard has led the Raptors to the NBA Finals, where a matchup against the vaunted Golden State Warriors awaits.
It’s unclear if Leonard will be spending more than one season in Toronto, though. The California native is set to hit free agency this summer and the Clippers, Lakers and Knicks, among other teams, are potential suitors.
The NBA Finals, meanwhile, begin on Thursday at 9 p.m. E.T.
Game 1 is on ABC.