The Los Angeles Clippers are one of the many teams thrilled about the Kawhi Leonard-San Antonio Spurs marriage ending in a nasty divorce. It opened the door for LA’s version of the Mets to potentially trade for Kawhi (failed) or land him in the summer of 2019 (still possible).
With that being said it makes so much sense for the team to move on from analyst Bruce Bowen after one year. Bowen put himself in this position back in June when he let his loyalty for the Spurs take over by slamming Kawhi for the way he was handling his exit (via USA Today):
“I think there’s nothing but excuses going on,” Bowen, who won three championships in San Antonio and was selected to eight All-Defensive teams during his career, told Sirius XM NBA Radio on Thursday. “First, it was, ‘Well I was misdiagnosed.’ Look here: You got $18 million this year, and you think that they’re trying to rush you? You didn’t play for the most part a full season this year. And you’re the go-to guy, you’re the franchise, and you want to say that they didn’t have your best interest at heart? Are you kidding me?”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that Bowen’s comments cost him a new deal:
In the aftermath of critical comments about 2019 free agent target Kawhi Leonard, Bruce Bowen won’t be renewed as the LA Clippers television game analyst next season, sources told ESPN.
Bowen was under contract with Fox Sports West, but the Clippers — like every organization — have significant input into the hiring of television broadcast talents and withheld approval on extending his contract, sources said.
The sides were expected to move forward on a new deal before Bowen’s public comments on Leonard, sources said. Bowen declined comment when reached on Monday.
Honestly I was surprised the Clippers didn’t axe Bowen immediately. It’s no secret the Clippers want to steal silent and shady Kawhi from the Lakers, and having your game analyst talking all sorts of shit isn’t exactly what you want.
Bowen surprisingly landed the Clippers job in 2017, as he replaced former BYU player Michael Smith after 19 seasons with the team. The LA Times reported at the time of the hiring that the Clippers also had interest in Reggie Miller — that could be something the Clippers revisit if they want to lose their niche audience.