Gregg Popovich isn’t known for his humor but he said something his former star found a little funny.
OK, it wasn’t actually funny.
The San Antonio Spurs head coach recently criticized Kawhi Leonard by saying he “wasn’t a leader or anything” during his time in San Antonio.
When asked if he heard the comments from his former coach, the 2014 NBA Finals MVP fired back.
“I heard about it. It’s just funny to me because, you know, 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 told reporters in Toronto, via ESPN. “Other than that, it doesn’t matter. I’m here with the Raptors. My focus is on the season and not what’s going on the other side.”
Leonard played only nine games last season, sitting out with a mysterious quad injury before asking to be traded last offseason.
The All-Star forward has found his old form this season with the Toronto Raptors and explained he isn’t your typical, rah-rah leader.
“I lead by example coming into practice every day. Just going hard and coming into these games mentally focused,” he said. “You can’t see things once you’re playing on the floor. Guys ask me questions about their matchup or if I see something on the floor, I’m telling guys, ‘Go here, go there,’ just motivating people, do you know what I mean?”
Leonard will make his return to San Antonio on Jan. 3.
Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images