Popovich: Kawhi Leonard May Be Out For The Season

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters he will be surprised if Kawhi Leonard returns to action before the end of the season, tweets Michael C. Wright of ESPN.

“We only have X number of games left in the season and he’s still not ready to go,” Popovich says in a video tweeted by Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. “If by some chance he is, it’s going to be pretty late into the season and it’s going to be a tough decision, you know, how late you bring somebody back. That’s why I’m just trying to be honest and logical. I’ll be surprised if he gets back this year.”

Leonard missed the first two months of the season with a lingering quad injury, then was shut down by the team after appearing in just nine games. He was originally expected to miss just the preseason when the injury was discovered at an intersquad scrimmage in late September, but his debut date kept getting pushed back.

Tensions over the injury and the prolonged recovery process have reportedly led to some behind-the-scenes discord between Leonard and the organization. ESPN reported last month that a rift has developed between Leonard’s camp and San Antonio’s front office.

Leonard is coming off his best NBA season, averaging 25.5 points per game and finishing third in last year’s MVP voting. The Spurs had been hoping he could return for a late-season playoff push, but now that appears unlikely. San Antonio entered the All-Star break in third place in the Western Conference, but two games ahead of the ninth-place Clippers in the loss column.

“We’ve got to move on,” Popovich added. “The team has to realize this is who we have, this is who we are, this is who’s going to play, and wishing and hoping doesn’t do anybody any good.”

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8 thoughts on “Popovich: Kawhi Leonard May Be Out For The Season

  1. Z-A

    Should bring in an angry fan on a 10-day contract. They play the Warriors on 3/8. I’m sure someone wants to punch ZaZa in the Cojones.

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    • I think this is his quad injury. In the playoffs Kawhi landed on Zaza’s foot, twisting his ankle. I don’t think they’re related to each other unless I’m wrong.

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  2. Thronson5

    Kind of amazing to me the Spurs are still doing as good as they are without him. That’s one team that just always stays competitive no matter what’s thrown at them.

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  3. acarneglia

    I wouldn’t count SA out in the playoffs. They could be a surprise team.

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  4. No, they won’t be a surprise team without KL. Look at the Warriors series after he went down last year as proof that they’re two and gone at best.

    Weird for the Spurs organization to have this kind of controversy, and based on KL’s personality, odd that this would be anything but legit. Hopefully this is not a case of a Superstar throwing around his weight, or a first class organization not being honest. Spurs are the model for NBA ethical behaviour, after some of the LMA trials, hope this is not he final team whose players and management make it about team instead of self.

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  5. Stoop Down Low

    Spurs have earned the benefit of the doubt. You could deal him for a lot, I’d consider it.

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