Bruce Bowen played seven seasons with the San Antonio Spurs as a defensive stopper for a team that won three NBA championships.
Bowen had his No. 12 retired by the Spurs in 2012, and knows the kind of first-class organization Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford have created in San Antonio.
He’s also not happy with how current Spurs star Kawhi Leonard has handled his situation with the team, leading to the forward’s reported desire to be traded this summer.
Bowen went on Sirius XM NBA Radio on Thursday and tore into the Spurs star.
“There’s nothing but excuses going on,” Bowen said, via ESPN.
“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?”
Leonard played just nine games this past season while dealing with a mysterious quad injury. The Spurs’ brass was hoping to mend the fractured relationship this offseason, but the 2014 NBA Finals MVP reportedly told those close to him that he no longer wants play in San Antonio.
Bowen doesn’t believe Leonard has handled the situation well.
“Not one time has Kawhi come out and said anything to the effect of, ‘You know what, hey, I really enjoy being in San Antonio.’ Or, ‘I can’t stand what’s going on here in San Antonio,’ ” Bowen said. “Not one time has he said anything.”
While Leonard reportedly wants to be traded to a team in Los Angeles, preferably the Lakers, San Antonio doesn’t appear willing to send its star to LA.
Bowen, for his part, wasn’t thrilled with Leonard not being present during the Spurs’ first-round playoff series, and doesn’t think the Spurs’ players should want him around.
“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.”
Time will tell how the saga ends, but for now, Leonard remains a Spur.
Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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