KEY POINTS

  • Clippers unhappy with special treatment of stars
  • Doc Rivers vented ire after Montrezl Harrell's comments
  • Clippers' strained chemistry will not affect title campaign

Tension is brewing inside the Los Angeles Clippers’ camp as players are reportedly displeased with how their two star players, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, are being more favorably treated than the rest.

Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic gathered the report from several sources and said, “Off the court, sources say there are some teammates who have struggled with the organization’s preferential treatment that is afforded to Leonard and George. On the one hand, this sort of superstar handling is somewhat commonplace in the NBA.

Case in point:  LeBron James has a significant voice in Laker Land, where he frequently coordinates practice and shoot-around schedules with coach Frank Vogel depending on what they believe is best for the team at that time.”

Leonard and George landed in Los Angeles in last summer’s blockbuster signing to form a formidable combo that made the Clippers one of the early favorites to win the NBA title this year. The move has been yielding dividends as the team stands at the top three of the Western Conference with a 31-14 record.

But while it looks commendatory on paper, the dugout scene could reveal a gloomy atmosphere. From issues concerning Leonard’s load management to speculations that the two-time NBA champion spearheaded the last call to cancel a series of scrimmages sometime during the start of the season, the rest of Clips just hope that they could contain their resentment as some of them are even complaining that practices have not been intense as they used to be.

“Multiple players, according to league sources, don’t feel the team practices as hard or as seriously as it should at this point in the season,” the report added.

One player, apparently, has had enough of how things are running within his team. After the Clippers got routed by the Grizzlies on Jan. 4, Montrezl Harrell verbalized his frustration on the current state of his squad - something which did not sit too well with head coach Doc Rivers.

In the same report from The Athletic, Buha and Amick said that Harrell earned the ire of Rivers after voicing out to the media something that must be held within the corners of their dressing room. The article wrote, “The gist of (Rivers’) expletive-laden message had been sent loud and clear: Keep your frustrations internal. Don't vent to the media and create distractions for this locker room."

Despite a seemingly strained chemistry affecting the team behind the scenes, the Clippers, however, are still projected to make it deep in the postseason.

Paul George Kawhi Leonard Clippers Paul George #13 Los Angeles Clippers and Kawhi Leonard #2 during overtime against Boston Celtics at Staples Center on November 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images