Pop on how he felt about fans booing Kawhi throughout the game: "I felt badly about it. Kawhi is a high-character guy. We all make decisions in our lives, what we are going to do with our futures, and he has that same right as any of us. So I felt badly, honestly."#Spurs
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) January 4, 2019
Nothing but respect between Kawhi and Gregg Popovich. pic.twitter.com/tbiSvAtn39
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 4, 2019
Kawhi, whose Toronto Raptors fell 125-107, blamed the media for amping up the fans’ emotional response.
Per the AP:
Leonard scored 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting, but the anger the Spurs’ fans showered on him seemed to impact the MVP candidate. Leonard had to take a step back at the free throw line and compose himself amid chants of “Traitor! Traitor!” and “Quitter! Quitter!” from the capacity crowd that adored him during his seven seasons in San Antonio.
The reception didn’t surprise Leonard.
“No,” Leonard said. “Media does a great job to stir people’s minds and to influence them to think a certain way. So, I already knew how that was going to be the way the media was.”