Report: Kawhi Leonard threatened to call league office on Masai Ujiri for noisy workouts

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard won an NBA title during the 2018-19 season with the Toronto Raptors.

At the time, Raptors president Masai Ujiri and Leonard were working towards a common goal.

However, with Leonard joining the Clippers last offseason, the two were on separate sides again.

When the NBA resumed its season in the Orlando, Fla. bubble, Ujiri was given the room directly above Leonard’s in their hotel.

Ironically, Ujiri actually messed up Leonard’s sleep schedule with his workouts, which led to Leonard jokingly threatening to call the league to get Ujiri thrown out of the bubble, according to GQ’s Taylor Rooks.

“For example, every day at 5 a.m., inside room 950 in the Gran Destino (where all the top-seeded teams stayed), Masai Ujiri would wake up, read his book, hop on the Peloton, and work out before heading down for breakfast,” Rooks wrote. “He thought nothing of his daily ritual until one morning, several weeks into the bubble, when he got a text from another former player of his: ‘Morning boss, you good up there?’


“The text was from Kawhi Leonard — Finals MVP with the Raptors, now a star on the Clippers — who was staying in room 850, directly below his old boss. Ujiri had been waking Kawhi up with his noisy workouts for weeks, but Kawhi was reluctant to say anything.


“Ujiri told Kawhi that he would stop for the time being and joked that he would continue again when the Raptors met the Clippers in the Finals, messing with Kawhi’s sleep. Kawhi responded with the kind of trash talk that’s best read aloud in Kawhi’s dry monotone: ‘Haha, you know the saying ‘Don’t poke the bear’? I’m gonna call the NBA on you…get you out the bubble.’”

The NBA bubble was like nothing else.

Unfortunately for them, both Ujiri’s and Leonard’s respective teams were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.

However, after a busy offseason, it is always possible that the two find themselves matched up in the 2021 NBA Finals.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.