Spurs’ Coach Gregg Popovich Speaks on Leonard, Kawhi Responds
The final year of Kawhi Leonard’s tumultuous tenure in San Antonio was well documented and it seems as though Leonard is still dealing with the aftermath.
Over the weekend, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke to reporters and Leonard’s name was thrown into conversation. Candidly speaking about Leonard’s time with the team, the revered bench boss mentioned that Leonard failed to become a leader on a veteran Spurs team, but highlighted the importance of the leadership of both Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili.
“Kawhi was a great player, but he wasn’t a leader or anything,” Popovich said. “Manu and Patty were the leaders. Kawhi’s talent will always be missed, but that leadership wasn’t his deal at that time. That may come as he progresses, but Manu and Patty filled that role last year, and LaMarcus [Aldridge] came a long way in that regard also.”
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) November 26, 2018
Leonard responded to his former coach’s criticism on Sunday.
“It’s just funny to me because, I don’t know if he’s talking about last year or not, but I guess when you stop playing they forget how you lead,” Leonard said. “Other than that, it doesn’t matter. I’m here with the Raptors.”
Leonard suited up in just nine games for the Spurs last season due to a lingering quad injury prior to being traded to the Toronto Raptors in a blockbuster move over the summer.
The Spurs and Raptors are set to have their first of two dates on January 3 and we definitely don’t want to miss that one.