There is a mysterious rift between the Spurs and Kawhi Leonard, and Stephen A. Smith says it may involve a messy family situation

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  • The bizarre saga between Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs took another turn on Thursday.
  • A day after Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said he’d be “surprised” if Leonard returned this season, ESPN reported that Leonard had already been cleared to return but was choosing to get a second opinion.
  • Stephen A. Smith also said he had been told that Leonard’s uncle and business manager was the problem in the ongoing drama.

The discord between Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs keeps getting murkier.

On Wednesday, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said he’d be “surprised” if Leonard – who was thought to have been still recovering from an injury to his right quad – returned to play this season.

And while that still may be the case, a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday said the Spurs forward had been medically cleared to return to the team but was choosing to pursue a second opinion, leading to some raised eyebrows about his absence.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on “First Take” on Thursday that the rift between Leonard and the franchise was due to the increased involvement of Dennis Robertson, Leonard’s uncle and business manager.

“Let me say this: I’ve been told directly that the uncle has been a problem,” Smith said. “So I’m not deducing it to the uncle. I have been told directly that the uncle has been a problem for the organisation, even though he has categorically denied that.”

You can watch Smith’s comments below.

All of this comes in the wake of reports in January that there was already a rift growing between Leonard and the Spurs – something Leonard’s uncle pushed back on at the time.

With Leonard due to become a free agent in 2019, the normally steady ship of the Spurs franchise seems to be in unexpectedly choppy waters.

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