Bruce Bowen played with tenacity during his time with the Spurs so it’s no surprise he is not backing down after he lost his TV analyst job with the Clippers over comments he made about Kawhi Leonard.
Bowen appeared on "The Dan Patrick Show" Thursday and confirmed he was not brought back because of the critical comments he made about Leonard during a SiriusXM NBA Radio interview in June. Bowen said an individual within the Clippers organization told him his contract would not be renewed.
“It was basically, 'We don’t view your views that way,' because of your comments of Kawhi Leonard, we are choosing to go a separate way,” Bowen told Patrick.
Patrick noted he was told by someone with the Clippers that the organization could not take any chances as they intend to pursue Leonard in free agency next offseason. Bowen proceeded to criticize the Clippers:
“Kawhi never said ‘I want to play for the Clippers.’ Kawhi said he wanted to play for the Lakers. Unfortunately, if you’re going to run your organization based on hopes, maybe, and getting rid of others, now if I tore him down and if I was disrespectful to him, that’s one thing.
“But that’s not the case. As an analyst, I’m supposed to talk about what I see and what I feel for this game that I love. If you can’t do that, what does that say about your organization?”
Bowen added that until Leonard speaks for himself, people will continue to question who is speaking for him.
When asked by Patrick if he believed Leonard’s group had anything to do with him not returning as an analyst, Bowen said he did not believe he would be the reason why someone would not go to a team.
“I don’t think I’m big enough that someone will say, you know what, I’m not going there because Bruce Bowen is there and he’s on the mic. I’m the same person who’s going to call it like it is.”
Bowen had a final shot at the Clippers when Patrick told him that someone with the Clippers said Bowen knew he should not have been talking about Leonard because they wanted to sign the former Spurs all-star forward, and have a difficult time getting free agents to Los Angeles.
“If you can't get free agents in California, in Los Angeles that is, that has nothing to do with Bruce Bowen, that has more to do with the organization,” Bowen said.
The Spurs traded Leonard last month to the Toronto Raptors after he became disgruntled with the organization and his relationship with the Spurs deteriorated.
Bowen's interview is posted below: