Kawhi Leonard speaks out on his relationship with Gregg Popovich
The Los Angeles Clippers handed the San Antonio Spurs their first loss of the season with the help of a monster game from new star Kawhi Leonard. The Klaw had no qualms about dropping a 38-point, 12-rebound performance on his former team, especially now that his relationship with his former head coach Gregg Popovich has had time to heal.
Leonard opened up about that relationship after the game:
“It’s pretty good,” said Leonard, according to Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints. “Our relationship is good for the most part. And obviously yeah. Just to be able to play against a great coach and some of my old teammates. It’s always fun.”
#Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard on his relationship with Gregg Popovich & the extra motivation facing #Spurs – “It’s pretty good. Our relationship is good for the most part. And obviously yeah. Just to be able to play against a great coach and some of my old teammates. It’s always fun.” pic.twitter.com/YdONk0MNRT
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) November 1, 2019
Now that Leonard is back in the Western Conference after a year foray in the East with the Toronto Raptors, there will be plenty of other meetings against his former coach.
Leonard’s exit from San Antonio was bumpy at best, part of a season-long saga after a quad injury broke the trust and bond he had with the franchise. The Klaw grew as a player during his time with the Raptors, and he has now displayed the willingness to lead his team outside the parameters of a systemic offense, which has resulted in performances like Thursday’s.
The 28-year-old took 32 shot attempts (an unheard of amount in the Spurs’ offense) and made 15 of them, pounding the glass for five offensive rebounds and holding his own on defense with a game-high four steals.
It’s hard to know if there are any emotions for Leonard upon playing against his former team, but the likes of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green are no longer there, as the Spurs have revamped into a new version of the franchise.