Kawhi Leonard Fires Shot At Gregg Popovich After Leadership Criticism

Kawhi Leonard responds to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's jibe | NBA News

In his response, Pop noted that Kawhi's talent will be missed but "leadership wasn't his deal".

Though some perceived the reported rift between Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard as exaggerated, the two continue to trade subtle verbal jabs after their split.

"Manu and Patty were the leaders", Popovich continued.

While Popovich did acknowledge the vast talent of Kawhi Leonard, he clearly thinks he lacks in the leadership category, a trait that's nearly required to be a premier player on a championship team.

"That may come as he progresses, but Manu and Patty filled that role previous year, and LaMarcus [Aldridge] came a long way in that regard also".

Though Leonard hasn't always been the most outspoken player, he believes he was still a quality leader.

Leonard, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, played just nine games in his final season with the Spurs. "It doesn't matter. I'm here with the Raptors and I'm focused on the season and not what's going on on the other side". I'm here with the Raptors.

Kawhi Leonard responds to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's jibe | NBA News

"Coming into practice every day, just going hard". "I guess when you stop playing they forget how you lead". Guys ask me questions about their matchup or if I see something on the floor. "But I want to focus on this team, this journey that we have in front of us today, and just stay in the present time and not look back". I just try to lift people's spirits on the floor. Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors with Danny Green in the summer in a deal which saw DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first-round pick go the opposite way.

However, Leonard was not a popular figure in San Antonio, as proven by Popovich's quotes.

As you'd expect, that quote quickly made its way to Leonard, who responded on Sunday.

Leonard may have inadvertently referred to the feelings of some Spurs fans and even members of that organization who thought he stopped playing for their team, rather than actually being unable to do so.

Gregg Popovich isn't known for his humor but he said something his former star found a little amusing. After scoring a season-high 35 points in Sunday's loss to the Toronto Raptors, he was more than willing to accept it. If Popovich didn't see leadership in Leonard, Nurse said he certainly has. For the season, he is averaging 24.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

The problem is how our society frames leading as good and following as bad.

Ex-Trump campaign chair lied, broke plea agreement: Mueller
He'll be sentenced in February in his criminal case in Virginia, which he took to trial and lost. He was convicted by a jury in August on tax and bank fraud charges in the other case in Virginia.

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