The truth behind Kawhi Leonard-Gregg Popovich relationship

LOS ANGELES — Before becoming a member of the Los Angeles Clippers in free company, Kawhi Leonard was on a path towards changing into a legend underneath Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. Things clearly fell aside, however their relationship hasn’t soured.

The Clippers and Spurs performed in Los Angeles on Saturday evening, and with Leonard again within the lineup, it meant he acquired to face his former coach and workforce. LA defeated San Antonio, 119-97, with Leonard scoring 11 factors and allotting 4 assists in 22 minutes.

After the sport, Kawhi Leonard and Gregg Popovich shared a second at middle court docket:

Leonard would not share what he and Popovich stated to one another, however did reward his former coach.

“He meant loads,” Clippers star Kawhi Leonard stated of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “He’s the rationale why I’m the participant I’m at this time. Built that basis on exhibiting me successful basketball and, yeah, he is an incredible coach. Still probably the greatest coaches I had. We’ve been in too many battles to have a scar on our relationship.”

Before the sport, Popovich was requested about Leonard’s fixed enchancment getting into Year 12 within the NBA.

“Are you kidding?” Popovich quipped. “He’s in all probability gonna be a Hall of Fame participant. He wasn’t a Hall of Fame participant when he first acquired drafted, so I might say he is improved fairly a bit. He’s achieved an incredible job. He’s labored his ass off.”

Back in 2019, Gregg Popovich advised ClutchPoints that no one may see Leonard changing into nearly as good as he has.

“When we made that commerce for him and drafted him, we did not know he was gonna be Kawhi Leonard identical to we did not know Manu [Ginobili] was gonna be Manu once we drafted him at no matter, 57 or one thing like that,” Popovich added. “People who let you know which are stuffed with crap.

“You by no means know the way a participant is gonna develop and whether or not he is drafted fourth or nineteenth, you simply do not know.”

It’s good to see there is not a fractured relationship between Kawhi Leonard and Gregg Popovich regardless of the ugly finish to his tenure with the San Antonio Spurs.

Leonard performed 494 video games with the Spurs between the common season and postseason, main them to the 2014 NBA championship in a postseason wherein he additionally took residence the NBA Finals MVP Award.


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