Despite the hype surrounding Leonard’s long-awaited return Thursday night, Pop insists the game won’t hold any special significance.
Pop hopes fans will treat Kawhi with "kindness, respect" when he plays in San Antonio tomorrow night for first time since Spurs traded him to Toronto in July. https://t.co/pkwA2bVXaO
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) January 2, 2019
DeMar DeRozan, who was traded for Kawhi, says he won’t get emotional playing against his former team.
Per The Express-News:
“You move on in life,” Popovich said. “We’re not going to re-do what’s happened in the past in any way, shape or form. It’s of no consequence at this point, and it does not good to go backward and talk about this, that or the other.”
Popovich said he is hopeful fans won’t give Leonard a rude reception when he is introduced at the AT&T Center.
“I don’t speak for other people, but I hope that they treat everybody with kindness and respect,” Popovich said. “We always have in the past, so we’ll see.”
Bottom line, Popovich said, it’s just another game.
“It’s like, what is it one third of the way through the season or whatever,” he said. “A lot of people because of the trade will add fuel to it and try to make it this, that and the other, and that’s fine. But for us, it’s about just trying to get better and create habits at both ends of the floor. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, but those are the goals every game.”