Though the Kawhi Leonard injury back in the 2021 playoffs appears painful for them but unexpected, Marcus Morris Sr. had some other thoughts why it did occur.
When Morris Sr. was asked about Leonard and how challenging it was to see him go down last year following the L.A. Clippers’ Monday loss to the Phoenix Suns, the veteran felt that former Utah Jazz wing Joe Ingles committed a “cheap shot” against the two-time Finals MVP.
“For him to go out in such a — I felt like it was a cheap shot but, you know, such a cheap manner, I think that’s what hurt the most,” Morris said of Ingles in Leonard’s injury, via Sports Illustrated’s Joey Linn.
Though Morris sees it as a “non-competitive play” from Ingles, he believes that Leonard is still doing great amid what happened.
“A non-competitive play. He’s in great spirits. I know he’s happy to be out there.”
Leonard, who was having a phenomenal postseason showing, was going coast-to-coast against the Jazz and bumped out Ingles during their Game 4 encounter in the 2021 West Semifinals. On the verge of tying the series to 2-2, odds didn’t favor the Clippers in their hopes to finally win that elusive title.
The future hall of famer hurted his knee, and was listed unavailable to play. Still, Los Angeles marvelled their way to their first conference finals appearance for the first time without their de facto lead man.
But as things went on and they were eliminated by the eventual West champions Suns, Leonard was announced out indefinitely due to a partial ACL tear – which forced him to sit for the entirety of last season and kept the team’s title window abandoned.
Whether it is intentional or not on the side of Ingles, the Clippers can only do nothing but to move on for this new season, as they continue their ongoing chase for a championship with Leonard already back.