Gregg Popovich ‘Felt Badly’ Spurs Fans Booed Kawhi Leonard

by January 04, 2019

Gregg Popovich‘s wish that Spurs fans would treat Kawhi Leonard with “kindness and respect” during his first return to San Antonio last night went unfulfilled.

Leonard and his family were greeted instead with vitriol, starting before the opening tip to well after the game ended.

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.”

Kawhi Leonard: Booing Spurs Fans ‘Can Only Make me a Better Player’