Morning sports update: Former Celtics disagree with Clippers’ approach to Kawhi Leonard’s ‘load management’

"I'm not a fan personally of taking games off."

Kawhi Leonard on the Clippers' bench during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Associated Press

The Celtics beat the Hornets on Thursday night, 108-87. Kemba Walker was welcomed back to Charlotte after leaving in the offseason, and he totaled 14 points and six assists. Boston is in San Antonio tomorrow at 5 p.m. against the Spurs.

The Bruins face the Red Wings in Detroit on Friday. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

This weekend, the Patriots have a bye week, though there are still plenty of interesting NFL match-ups.

And in soccer, Liverpool host Manchester City at Anfield in a pivotal Premier League showdown (Sunday at 11:30 a.m. EST).

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Kendrick Perkins and Robert Parish weigh in on the idea of “load management”: A familiar controversy in the NBA resurfaced when the Los Angeles Clippers announced that Kawhi Leonard would not play in the first of back-to-back games earlier this week. The matchup just happened to be a nationally televised game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The initial reason given for Leonard’s absence was due to a knee injury, though later comments from Clippers coach Doc Rivers (that Leonard “feels great”) drew a league fine for being inconsistent with the team’s earlier characterization of his health status.

Resting Leonard this early in the season is part of the team’s “load management” plan for its superstar, given his injury history and also the deep playoff run that the 28-year-old was a central component of with the Toronto Raptors earlier in 2019.

But the concept has been met with criticism, given the high-profile games Leonard has missed. Two former Celtics players shared their thoughts on the matter.

One was Hall of Fame center Robert Parish, who played in an NBA record 1,611 regular season games from 1976-1997.

“I’m not a fan personally of taking games off,” Parish explained in a recent interview.

The other former Celtic was Kendrick Perkins.


“This load management stuff is getting out of hand!” Perking wrote on Twitter.

Rivers, who coached Perkins and the 2008 Celtics to an NBA championship, has supported what the Clippers have been doing to manage Leonard’s minutes.

“He feels great because of what we’ve been doing, and we’re just going to continue to do it,” said Rivers. “There’s no concern here.”

Trivia: The last time the Celtics got off to a 6-1 start to the season was in 2010. That year, just as in 2019, the Celtics achieved a sixth win of the season on Nov. 7. Boston defeated Oklahoma City that night, 92-83. Eight players appeared in that game who — at some point in their career — have been an NBA All-Star. Can you name all eight?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Their initials are RA, KD, JH, KG, PP, RR, JO, and RW.

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An update on the MetLife Stadium cat:

On this day: In 2008, Boston College beat Charlie Weis’s Notre Dame, 17-0. The year after Matt Ryan left for the NFL, the Eagles reshaped the style of the offense. Quarterback Chris Crane threw sparingly, but running back Montel Harris carried 23 times for 120 rushing yards.


The Boston College defense intercepted Jimmy Clausen four times as the Irish were shut out.

Daily highlight: Carli Lloyd scored a delightful chip against Sweden on Thursday in the first game under new U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski. The Americans won, 3-2.

Trivia answer: Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jermaine O’Neal, Rajon Rondo, and Russell Westbrook.


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