Kawhi Leonard expected to join Clippers on Friday night, Doc Rivers says

Doc Rivers said Kawhi Leonard is expected to join the LA Clippers on Friday night in Florida.

“Kawhi is on his way,” the Clippers coach said in a Zoom call with reporters on Friday afternoon before practice. “Should arrive sometime this evening.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Leonard did not travel with the Clippers on their team flight on Wednesday, as he was excused by the team to tend to a family matter, according to a source. Rivers also said a few “other guys” whom he did not name are also on their way to Florida after not being able to travel with the team.

The Clippers closed their team facility out of caution after there was a positive coronavirus test among their travel party, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on July 2. Any player arriving on his own will have to quarantine on campus in Orlando for two days.

The Clippers (44-20) went through their first practice on Friday since the season came to a halt in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Paul George said the hiatus has only helped strengthen the title contender.8

Several Clippers such as George — who entered the season recovering from surgeries on both of his shoulders — have used the break to heal nagging injuries and give them “what we needed,” George said.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“Really, I had some insecurities to start the season off,” said George, who is averaging 21 points and 5.7 rebounds in 42 games this season. “I had insecurities throughout the season just because I wasn’t all the way 100 [percent]. Shoulder didn’t feel back to 100. Everything was kind of waiting and hoping, believing in the doctors that everything they were telling me was going to come into this moment now where I feel great, no shoulder issues.

“The whole season, all the way up until maybe a month or two ago, I had to always do shoulder rehab stuff, warming the shoulder up. Just so much went into stuff I had to do before I actually took a foot on the floor. Now I feel great again … feeling back to myself again.”

George did admit that he had some “mixed emotions” initially about whether returning to play would distract from the current Black Lives Matter movement and the protests against police brutality and social injustice around the country. Teammate Lou Williams said in the weeks leading up to the league’s restart that he was “50-50” about playing and potentially taking away from the protests.

“It was a roller coaster of whether we should play or not,” George said. “I think ultimately as young African Americans we have an unbelievable opportunity to use our voices. I don’t necessarily think it’s taking away by starting the league. I don’t think it’s taking away of what’s the important issues in our world. We can still address those more so than we’ve done before with our platforms.”

“… Spotlight is on us,” he added. “We’re opening back up the sports world. With that alone, we should have more than enough of an opportunity to get our message and our points across.”

The deep and experienced Clippers arrived in Florida as a title contender, and Rivers spoke to the players before getting off the bus at their hotel on Wednesday.

“The message is we’re on a mission,” Rivers said of what he told the team on the bus. “And we’ve been deployed. Nothing’s going to distract us. We are not going to complain about anything.