Kawhi Leonard Fires Again At Gregg Popovich's 'Humorous' Management Remarks

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Leonard's reaction came less than 24 hours after Popovich referenced his former star in a comment about the Spurs' leadership.

Months after Leonard's tense and freakish exit from San Antonio, he and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have had plenty to say about each other. Manu (Ginobili) and Patty (Mills) were the leaders. Kawhi's talent will always be missed, but leadership wasn't his deal at the time. Patty and Manu filled that role for us a year ago.

Leonard said he heard about the comments and said that he leads by example.

It seemed that Popovich was speaking primarily about last season, when Leonard missed all but nine games, amid a freaky injury saga, but it was an interesting response nonetheless.

"Coming into practice everyday just going hard and coming into these games mentally focused", Leonard said.

"I think now he's just come out and given him a little jab".

The two-time National Basketball Association defensive player of the year said he helps teammates by pointing out things he's seeing in games and telling them to "go here" or "go there". Just motivating people, you know what I mean? "But I want to focus on this team, this journey that we have in front of us today, and just stay in the present time and not look back". "Don't try to get anybody too down, just lift them up".

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"Kawhi was a great player, but he wasn't a leader or anything", Popovich said of Leonard, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and 2014 NBA Finals MVP.

It was confirmed that the relationship between the Spurs and Kawhi was at the irreparable stage when the latter opted to attend none of San Antonio's five postseason games while rehabbing on his own in NY.

Leonard was eventually traded, along with Danny Green, to the Raptors for a package including DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected first-round pick.

Maybe it's his mellow personality, but Kawhi Leonard doesn't seem so moved by Popovich's comment. However, that has not prevented the veteran National Basketball Association coach from taking aim at Leonard in the same breath. I guess when you stop playing they forget how you lead...

Leonard has gotten off to a fantastic start on his new team, leading Toronto to an East-leading 17-4 start while pacing the team in points, rebounds and steals.

"That is all ridiculous", Popovich said in July, a day after the trade.

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