Clippers say Kawhi Leonard has been released to play 5v5

Kohi Leonard He was cleared of 5-on-5 basketball again, more than a year since his last NBA game.

Los Angeles Clippers President Lawrence Frank said Thursday the team will continue with some caution with Leonard, the two-time NBA Finals player and five-time All-Star who tore the ACL in his right knee during the playoffs in June 2021.

Leonard missed the remainder of the post-season, and the entirety of last season.

“Well I think he’s feeling great,” Frank told reporters in Los Angeles. ”Secondly, his plan is, look, he wants to be involved in everything. And I think, third, organizationally, we’re going to be careful. So it will be a gradual approach. ”

Leonard’s acquittal was expected, given how long he was sidelined and the typical time it takes to recover from ACL surgery. But it’s still a huge step for the Clippers, who believe they can compete for the championship this season if they’re healthy.

“You want these expectations,” Frank said. “Anytime you have a talented team, there has to be expectations. You embrace them, and you always have to shoot for the highest goal. Our goal is not just to try to compete and win the championship this year, but to be in the same position the next year and the year after that.” ”

There was another positive injury news from Frank on Thursday. said forward Paul GeorgeAn elbow injury – which limited him to 31 games last season – is also a thing of the past. Frank also said George was crucial in recruiting the Clippers to former All-Star goalkeeper John Wall, who signed with the team hoping to revive his career after a long string of injuries.

Wall was named an All-Star in five consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2018, but has played in only 82 games since then. He underwent surgery for bony spurs on his left heel, then tore his left Achilles tendon.

“Paul, his elbow is 100 percent healthy,” Frank said. ”Paul had a very purposeful, driven and very productive casual style, the consistency of his training off the charts. Additionally, he continues to take on more and more ownership and leadership roles. ”

Leonard already has two championships – in 2014 with San Antonio, and in 2019 with Toronto. He was the best player in both series titles.

Despite this, the Clippers are still chasing what will be the franchise’s first title. The closest they got was in 2021, when they reached the Western Conference finals for the first time. But Leonard was hurt in the previous series against Utah, and the Clippers lost that Western title match to Phoenix in six games. The suns He went on to lose the NBA Finals that season to Milwaukee.

“We all accept the challenge but realize how fragile it is,” Frank said. “All we had to do was go back two years ago to Kohi’s injury against Utah. Kouhi was playing the best basketball of any player in the world. Our team was playing at a high level. Unfortunately for Kohi and the group, he was injured. I think that reinforces the urgency to deal with all Day. Nothing is guaranteed.”

The Clippers will have their media day on Monday, then travel to Las Vegas to start training camp on Tuesday. Their first pre-season game – and, perhaps, the first game Leonard has played since those 2021 playoffs – is on September 30, in Seattle, against Israeli club Maccabi Ra’anana.

“Koohee has played a lot of controlled basketball for a long time,” Frank said. “Even though 5-on-5 is seen by the layman as a standard, it’s more complex than that. Ultimately, he continues the trend toward being able to play in an NBA basketball game, and so he will continue to take these steps in the the camp.”

More AP NBA: The

%d bloggers like this: