Kawhi Leonard on bench in Game 3 against Suns Apr 20, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) looks on from the bench in the first half against the Phoenix Suns at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers clearly missed star forward Kawhi Leonard on Thursday night, dropping Game 3 of their series against the Phoenix Suns to go down 2-1 in the series. Unfortunately, the organization received even more bad news regarding Leonard on Friday night.

Leonard is dealing with a right knee sprain that was aggravated in Game 1 of the series. It appears to be an injury that isn’t going away anytime soon, which led to a horrible update on his availability for Game 4.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Leonard has been ruled out for Game 4 on Saturday.

Many around the NBA world took notice of this and do not like their chances in Game 4 or the rest of this playoff series against Phoenix.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith offered a particularly brutal analysis of Kawhi Leonard following the news, saying that he believes Leonard “should retire” at the end of this season.

“In the case of Kawhi Leonard, I stand alone probably on this but I don’t care,” said Stephen A. Smith. “I think the man should retire. I’m sick of these injuries to Kawhi. I’m not questioning the legitimacy of them in any way, but my god.”

Regardless, the Clippers will need star point guard Russell Westbrook to step up once again in Leonard’s absence. The former MVP winner put up 30 points along with 12 assists and eight rebounds in Leonard’s absence in Game 3.

Both Leonard and George have struggled mightily to stay on the floor when it matters for the Clippers. The two have been teammates for the past four years in Los Angeles, but there have been multiple postseasons where one or both of them have been unavailable due to injuries.

[Shams Charania on Twitter]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.