Gregg Popovich: ‘Time to Move on’ from Kawhi Leonard

by July 19, 2018

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich had nothing but positive things to say about Kawhi Leonard, who was dealt to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan in a blockbuster swap.

Pop says it’s time to move on, and that Leonard was a great teammate in San Antonio.

Popovich says he’s excited to work with the new crop of players from the Raptors.

Per The Express-News:

“Kawhi conducted himself wonderfully while he was here,” Popovich said. “He helped us win a fifth championship and was a hard worker all the time. We wish him well, but at this point, it’s time to move on. I’m concerned about Jacob and DeMar and our basketball team and putting that together.

“We have a lot of young kids and it’s exciting. But in no way, shape and form does it do any good to go back in time and talk A, B and C. It’s time to move on.”

The trade news was the culmination of months of speculation and exasperation among the Spurs fan base. After being injured in the 2017 Western Conference Finals, Leonard played only nine games for the Spurs last season while nursing a mysterious quadriceps injury.

“That’s all ridiculous,” the coach said of reports that Leonard was a “bad teammate” late season. “Kawhi was a great teammate all the way through,” Popovich said. “He did his work, was no problem for anybody. But talking heads out there have to have stories, and I get it…But all those stories that denigrated him in that regard were unfortunate and inaccurate.”

Report: Kawhi Leonard Won’t Hold Out from Playing in Toronto