Yes Kwahi Leonard Can Make His Own Decisions!

The NBA has now become a year around sport with the coverage of the league being a year around task. Now that the Golden State Warriors have been crowned champion for the 2017-2018 season we now switch gears toward free agency. While LeBron James is going to be the most sought after free agent this off season the second biggest name Kwahi Leonard has dominated the headlines. Now its been well  documented and covered that Leonard and the Spurs organization is headed for a breakup, the person who is getting all the blame for pending divorce is no other than "Uncle Dennis".  Dennis Robertson is now the agent representing his nephew after he fired his last agent Brian Elfus. Elfus is currently suing Leonard for unpaid commissions totaling $5.6 million dollars. Robertson has been said to be the driving force behind Leonard wanting out of San Antonio. According to basketball writer Peter Vecsey according to a source close to Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich stated, that Popovich did not want Leonard at practices and he felt that Robertson and others from Leonard's camp had been poisoning Leonard's mind against the Spurs organization. These are very strong words and comments coming from Popovich. Now coach Popovich would have better knowledge of the situation, and by no means  am I calling Coach Popovich character into question, but the whole way the Spurs have have handled this situation as an organization has been poor an unprofessional. Popovich stated on the record earlier this season that Leonard had been cleared to play, and the ball is in Kwahi's and his group court on when he will be ready to play. The San Antonio Spurs have been one of the best organizations in the NBA and sports, but they have clearly dropped the ball pun intended in this situation. Sometimes it does not matter that medical staff medically clears a player if the player does not feel like they can not play, then it falls on the organization to help that player feel comfortable so they can play. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili even came out and question Leonard on his injury, and there has also been multiple reports on how Leonard turned down a $20 million dollar shoe contract with Jordan Brand. It's been rumored that Leonard and his people thought they had been low balled with that offer, and that playing in a small media market such as San Antonio is effecting his marketing value. All of these narratives and reasons may be true, and that Leonard is unhappy with the handling of his injury and ultimately wants to leave San Antonio to play in a bigger media market, but all of this coverage has created a narrative of Leonard being some kind of robot that can not make his own decisions has gotten way out of hand.  The media has taken this narrative and ran with it to the point that some of the comments and insinuations have been insulting and disrespectful. On recent a ESPN podcast a very popular media member stated that he was not going to call Kwahi's uncle "Uncle Dennis" anymore and by his tone he realized by doing this it could be seen as disrespectful and condensing, but another media member on the same podcast was dismissive of the idea. He stated he was going to continue to call him "Uncle Dennis" and he did not want to acknowledge the fact that Mr. Robertson is Kwahi's agent. This is a serious problem to many times in sports you often see that when black athletes makes a decision to exercise their power as players on where they want to play or how they want to market themselves and their brand there always seems to be some family member or a friend close to the family that is guiding the players decisions, and is giving them bad advice or in this case poisoning their minds. Back in 2016 you even had then President of the Knicks Phil Jackson characterized LeBron James' business associates as a "posse" in an interview with ESPN. When it has been well documented how LeBron's business associates and close friends are educated knowledgeable, and are more than capable to own and run successful businesses. These kind of comments further proves my point that racism and stereotypes are still alive and well in this "post-racial society", and in case your wondering the "post-racial" comment is pure sarcasm. Why can't be that the athlete made a decision as a man with aid from family or close advisors on the direction of their professional career. I never heard anybody questioning Peyton or Eli Manning when it comes to getting advice from their dad. So this particular situation has left fans and the media scratching their heads an asking the question why would anybody want to leave the Spurs? Especially when Leonard is in line to sign a five year super max contract worth $219 million dollars. To most this sounds insane to leave an organization like the Spurs who have been and continues to be well run for years, and leave millions of dollars on the table is simply head scratching. Could it be that the Spurs botched the handling of Leonard's quadriceps injury, or could it be that Kwahi simply does not want to continue his career in San Antonio. Just maybe he wants a fresh start in a brand new situation and money and the mystique of the Spurs is not going to stop him from wanting to work in a new environment, and have a new experiences in life. We are currently in a time in sports where players are starting to understand the power they have and they are exercising this power more and more. This needs to be applauded instead of criticized, but this whole idea that they can not think for themselves and other people are making these decisions for them need to stop, or at least let's apply this narrative to all athletes across the board, and not just to black athletes.