Gregg Popovich Grabbed Mic Mid-Game To Tell Fans To Stop Booing Kawhi Leonard
When the Toronto Raptors traded DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Pöltl and a 2019 first round pick to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in the 2018 offseason, it finally marked the end of the Kawhi Leonard and San Antonio Spurs saga, which definitely was one of the weirdest NBA stories in recent history.
During his last season in San Antonio, even though he was medically cleared, Kawhi Leonard still chose to be out and went weeks without communicating with the team. In the playoffs, while other injured stars were attending their team’s games, supporting them from the sidelines, Leonard was nowhere to be seen. Then, after the season, Kawhi asked for a trade.
The situation was irreversible and the relationship between Leonard and the Spurs irreparable.
But, Kawhi was the best player on the Spurs’ roster and not only helped them win a championship, but also was named the Finals MVP, so you could expect a certain gratitude by Spurs fans.
This however isn’t the case. Ever since Leonard left town, Spurs fans have made sure to boo him whenever he was on the court with an opposing team.
It wasn’t any different last night, when the Spurs hosted the Los Angeles Clippers, Leonard’s current team. Whenever he touched the ball, or was standing at the free throw line, Spurs fans booed their former star.
However, when Leonard was standing at the free throw line to shoot some foul shots, and was booed again by the San Antonio audience, his former head coach Gregg Popovich grabbed a microphone in between shots, and asked the crowd to stop booing.
“Excuse me for a second. Can we stop the booing and let these guys play? That’s not who we are. Knock off the booing!”
Gregg Popovich used a mic to tell the Spurs crowd to stop booing Kawhi Leonard during his free throws
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 23, 2023
But, even though Popovich is an incredibly well respected person in San Antonio, the booing didn’t stop, but intensified for the second shot.
After the game, Kawhi Leonard was asked about Spurs fans and their boos towards him and replied that this solely happens during games, with him being shown love whenever he’s on the streets or in a restaurant.
“If I don’t have a Spurs jersey on they’re probably gonna boo me for the rest of my career… They’re one of the best fans in the league… When I’m on the streets or going into restaurants they show love.”
Kawhi Leonard on Spurs fans:
“If I don’t have a Spurs jersey on they’re probably gonna boo me for the rest of my career… They’re one of the best fans in the league… When I’m on the streets or going into restaurants they show love.” pic.twitter.com/USd5eEgn3j
— Joey Linn (@joeylinn_) November 23, 2023