The 58-year-old blames the media for getting him in hot water with the league, and on Sunday he tried to clarify his past comments.
"We were actually talking about body types," Rivers told reporters ahead of Sunday's game against the Utah Jazz. "And I said, 'There's no body type more like Michael Jordan than Kawhi.' And I actually said because of his hands and his length. ... And that took (on) a whole life."
Rivers was on a four-person panel previewing the 2019 NBA Finals when he was asked for his thoughts on Leonard.
Commissioner Adam Silver deemed Rivers' praise of Leonard to have "crossed a bright line."
Leonard joined the Clippers this summer on a three-year, $103-million max deal after leading the Raptors to their first NBA championship.
The reigning Finals MVP is averaging 29.2 points, 7.6 boards, and 6.2 assists across five appearances this season.