Spurs coach Gregg Popovich once sought Scottie Pippen’s help in molding Kawhi Leonard
Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard has been compared to the great Scottie Pippen on several occasions due to the similarities of their style of play. As it turns out, Leonard’s former coach during his time with the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich, actually once sought out the Chicago Bulls legend to get some help with Kawhi.
According to an article published on ESPN’s website, coach Pop was optimistic that Scottie Pippen could somehow improve Kawhi Leonard’s game from a mental standpoint.
Gregg Popovich once sought out Scottie Pippen in hopes of instilling the Hall of Famer’s influence into Kawhi Leonard’s game.
Many months before the fractures that led to Leonard’s departure from San Antonio began to surface, Popovich approached Pippen and asked him to speak to Leonard after a Spurs-Bulls game in Pippen’s hometown of Chicago.
We have no idea how that conversation went down, and we will likely never know what Pippen told Kawhi. Whether or not Pippen’s words had any impact — be it positive or negative — on Leonard’s decision to force a move away from the Spurs last summer will also forever be a mystery.
For what it’s worth, however, Kawhi Leonard appears to have turned it up a notch since making the move to Toronto. The 27-year-old is currently averaging career-highs in points (27.1), field goals made and attempted (9.5-of-19), free throws made and attempted (6.5-of-7.6), and rebounds (8.0) per game. More importantly, he has led his team to the second-best record in the league right now with a 28-12 standing.