The NBA is fining the Los Angeles Clippers $50,000 for coach Doc Rivers' comments on Kawhi Leonard’s health status, the league announced Thursday evening.
Leonard sat out of Los Angeles's 129-124 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday with an injury the NBA deemed was being managed in a way that is "consistent with league rules."
Rivers, however, said of Leonard’s absence: “He feels great. But he feels great because of what we’ve been doing. We’re just going to continue to do it. There’s no concern here. But we want to make sure. I think Kawhi made a statement that he’s never felt better. It’s our job to make sure he stays that way.”
In its statement, the NBA said that Rivers’ comments were “inconsistent with Leonard’s health status."
The league acknowledged that the Clippers have "reasonably determined" that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee.
The regining NBA Finals MVP sat out for the second time in eight games for “load management” on Wednesday, but is expected to be back when the Clippers meet the Blazers Thursday night.
Tipoff is set for 10:30 p.m. ET.