San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is a straight shooter. He is going to tell you how it is, even if the truth hurts.
This usually goes for his players and the media, but Popovich took exception to how fans were acting at home last night. So, Popovich did what only he can do, call them out mid-game.
How? By grabbing the arena microphone, of course.
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Spurs fans were booing Kawhi Leonard every time he touched the basketball as the Spurs took on the Los Angeles Clippers. Leonard spent the first seven years of his career with San Antonio, helping them win a Larry O’Brien trophy in the NBA Finals in 2014.
However, Leonard’s tenure with the squad did not end harmoniously, as he requested a trade from the team.
Because of that, Spurs fans were booing him, and Popovich set the record straight.
“Excuse me for a second,” he said on the microphone. “Can we stop all the booing and let these guys play? It’s got no class, it’s not who we are. Knock off the booing.”
Popovich was asked about his spontaneous act after the game as well.
“Anybody that knows anything about sports knows you don’t poke the bear,” he responded, via The Associated Press. “That’s my answer.”
Popovich has seen Leonard’s knack for scoring over the years, and whether it was the booing or not, the bear was certainly out on the court for the away team. Leonard dropped a game-high 26 points in the Clippers’ 109-102 win to move to 6-7 on the season.
Leonard also spoke after the game, saying that he was not bothered by the boo birds in the seats.
“If I don’t have a Spurs jersey on, they are probably going to boo me for the rest of my career,” Leonard said. “It is what it is. They are one of the best fans in the league and they are very competitive. Once I stand on this basketball court out here, they are going to show that they are going for the other side. When I’m on the streets or going into a restaurant, they show love. It is what it is.”
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Even though Leonard is not wearing the black and silver anymore, Popovich showed just how loyal he is to his players, current and former.