SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Kawhi Leonard’s “Uncle Dennis” has revealed why the former San Antonio Spurs star asked to be traded last year. In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Dennis Robertson said it was a “lack of trust.”
Leonard played only 9 games in the 2017-2018 season with the Spurs because of a right quad injury. After the Spurs’ medical staff cleared him to play, Leonard asked for a second opinion from an outside source, and he continued in rehab instead of getting back in the game.
That was the beginning of the end of Leonard’s relationship with the Spurs.
“I think it just became a lack of trust,” Robertson told Yahoo Sports in a telephone interview. “They didn’t believe Kawhi couldn’t play and that caused a lack of trust in us and then us not believing in them.”
Robertson, known in NBA circles as “Uncle Dennis,” says it was time for Leonard to leave San Antonio.
“Anytime a player says he’s not capable of playing, you should believe him. Why would Kawhi just stop playing all of a sudden?” He’s a competitor,” Robertson said. “They didn’t believe him, and after that, the relationship couldn’t recover and we decided we had to move on.”
Leonard’s not a fan of cold weather. He wanted to play in Los Angeles near his home, but he was traded to the Raptors in a deal that brought DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio.
Leonard won an NBA Championship ring with the Spurs,and now he’s leading the Raptors in their first trip to the NBA Finals. They’ll face Golden State Thursday in game one and Uncle Dennis couldn’t be prouder.
“How he’s handled everything on and off the court is well deserved. It was nice to see him fight through all the adversity and he’s earned every minute of this,” Robertson told Yahoo Sports.