Gregg Popovich: ‘Never’ seen Kawhi Leonard injury issue

By Michael Dixon

Since the coaching career of Gregg Popovich has spanned more than 40 years, it’s easy to imagine that he’s seen just about everything. But the San Antonio Spurs coach said on Wednesday that the injury to Kawhi Leonard is something new.

“Pop just told me he’s ‘never’ throughout his entire coaching career come across the issue that Kawhi Leonard is experiencing with his quad,” Michael C. Wright of ESPN reported.

But it actually gets stranger. Not only is Leonard not the only NBA player experiencing that injury, he’s not even the only Spur. According to Wright, Popovich said Tony Parker’s injury is similar.

“He said ‘what’s weird’ is that Tony Parker has essentially the same issue, ‘a quad tendon, but worse,’ but Kawhi isn’t any closer to returning than TP, who will be back ‘very soon’ according to Pop.”

Leonard has not played since Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors in May. He entered that game hurt and was injured again when Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia undercut Leonard after a jumper. Parker, meanwhile, has not played since Game 2 of the previous round against the Houston Rockets.

While the injury to both stars is hurting San Antonio, the Spurs are still hanging strong in the standings.

Entering Wednesday’s action, San Antonio sits at 11-6. In the Western Conference, only the Rockets and Warriors have better records.