When making an appearance on Kevin Garnett's podcast, another NBA legend Paul Pierce shared some interesting perspectives on today's game and what is currently happening in the NBA. One of the things he talked about with Garnett and actually made some valid point about the consistent absence of Kawhi Leonard on the basketball court and why Anthony Davis is not being treated when fans discuss him missing games and being injured.
Pierce compared the criticism Davis received compared to Kawhi
At the beginning of the season, the Clippers fans were in high hopes Kawhi was fully healed and ready to play meaningful minutes after missing the entire last season with an ACL injury. Obviously, this type of injury is no joke for any professional athlete but nowadays, especially for a basketball player. However, Pierce made a good comparison with Anthony Davis, who was constantly criticized for missing games, while Kawhi is not getting the same treatment.
"We don't hold Kawhi accountable enough because him being at the status he is. We mention him in the same way as LeBron, KD when he is at his best but then when we talk about Anthony Davis not being available but we don't put Kawhi in that group. Think about his last 4,5 years; he missed about 2 seasons, he is always out and not putting a lot of games together and we never talk about that. We don't say nothing about him always being in street clothes."
What is the real reason Davis is getting more criticism than Kawhi
There is no question that players need proper rehabilitation time after coming back from serious injuries, but Kawhi has been associated with load management for a few years now, and it all started during his last season with the San Antonio Spurs. Ever since 2017 up until now, Kawhi has played in only 176 games, and since he joined the Clippers in 2019, he has appeared in only 111 games. That is a big problem for the Clippers, who have big aspirations to make that significant push in the playoffs finally, but to do that, they will need Kawhi.
NBA analysts and fans often have more harsh words for Anthony Davis missing games than Kawhi. There are multiple reasons for that, with the fact Kawhi is a 2-time NBA champion that has already solidified his NBA legacy. On top of that, he is extremely quiet, and the fact he is not as vocal as some other players doesn't bring much attention to him despite all of his accolades. Whatever it may be, the reality is that he is missing a lot of games and like Pierce said, maybe the medical staff handling his injuries is doing a bad job, and therefore, he can't fully recover. Either way, he only played two games this season and now is out of the rotation because of tendinitis; even though reports are coming out, the injury is even worse.