Clippers' Kawhi Leonard Has 'No Knowledge' of Rumors on Uncle's Illegal Requests

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard pauses on the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in San Antonio. Los Angeles won 134-109. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Darren Abate/Associated Press

Kawhi Leonard told reporters Tuesday he has not read the report by The Athletic saying his uncle, Dennis Robertson, made illegal requests of the Los Angeles Lakers during their free-agency meetings.

"I don't know. I didn't read it, so I don't know how reliable it is," Leonard said. 

When asked if Robertson tried to get teams to circumvent the salary cap, Leonard said he had "no knowledge" of anything untoward and "people make up stories every day."

Tomer Azarly @TomerAzarly

Kawhi Leonard on the rumors that his Uncle Dennis requested part ownership of the team, endorsement money, a house, and private plane during free agency - “I didn’t read it. I have no knowledge of it. People make up stories every day.” #Clippers https://t.co/wbuHl6sy7d

Sam Amick of The Athletic released a report Monday saying Robertson requested a partial team ownership share, private plane access, a house and a guaranteed amount of endorsement money from the Lakers in meetings. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss reportedly declined those requests because they would violate the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.

Leonard's camp also reportedly made similar demands of the Toronto Raptors. The NBA did not find any evidence the Clippers provided Leonard with any impermissible benefits.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said the report has not been a distraction for the team.

"I don't read it, but from everything I've heard it's a pretty empty story. There's nothing there, so I don't know why that would be a distraction for us... Every year someone signs, there's going to be an investigation, and that's fine. The key is, when you're cleared, it's the end of the story. 

"From what I know, I don't think we were the only ones. I think the NBA investigated about six teams. I don't know that, but I know it was more than one—and they should."

The situation reportedly created animosity between the Lakers and Leonard's camp. Waiting for Leonard caused the Lakers to miss out on a number of high-profile free agents, and Leonard teamed with Paul George and the crosstown Clippers.

The Clippers defeated the Lakers on Opening Night and will play Christmas Day.