San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich has seen a lot over his storied, Hall of Fame worthy career, but Kawhi Leonard’s quad injury isn’t something he has seen before.
“Never, never,” Popovich said about the nagging injury that has kept Leonard out of action this entire season.
“What’s really strange is that [point guard] Tony [Parker] has the same injury, but even worse. They had to go operate on his quad tendon and put it back together or whatever they did to it. So to have two guys, that’s pretty incredible. I had never seen it before those guys.”
However, Popovich said he thinks Tony Parker will be back “very soon”. Parker suffered a ruptured left quadriceps tendon last season during the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets.
“For real, sooner than later. And I’m serious. I’m being honest” Popovich explained.
Popovich has replied “sooner rather than later” when discussing Leonard’s potential return.
“I keep saying sooner rather than later,” Popovich said with a smile. “It’s kind of like being a politician. It’s all baloney, doesn’t mean anything.”
During Leonard’s absence, forward Kyle Anderson has stepped up.
“We’re not surprised at all” Popovich said of Anderson’s performance. “He’s just had a hard time getting minutes with Kawhi at that spot. He’s always been a good basketball player. I just haven’t given him the minutes that he’s gotten this year. When Kawhi does come back, I’ve got some figuring out to do, because he should still be on the court somehow or other. He’s really taken advantage of the time, for sure.”
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Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan Upset Over Sportsnet’s Raptors Video
San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan isn’t too happy about a video from Sportsnet that took shots at players from the past such as Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, and Tracy McGrady, although it gave a nod to DeRozan.
Still, DeRozan isn’t happy with the video, which he saw as disrespectful.
“I felt some type of way (about the video), for sure,” DeRozan said of the video, according to The Athletic. “It wasn’t even for me, but for the previous guys. For Vince, T-Mac, to Chris, you can’t undermine anything that they did. Without them, there wouldn’t have been that team we had last year, two years ago, five years ago. There wouldn’t be the team that’s there now if it wasn’t for my time there, so don’t undermine the people that came before us. I just didn’t like that.”
Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan Talks Debut With New Team
San Antonio Spurs star DeMar DeRozan took the court for the first time not wearing a Toronto Raptors jersey, and although it looked weird at first DeRozan seemed to fit right in with the team that acquired via trade over this past summer.
DeRozan played 18 minutes and finished with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting.
“Just getting out there, lacing them up in front of the fans for the first time, it was fun,” DeRozan said, according to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright.
“I’m glad I got to get the rust and kinks out and [got to] go out and get that part out of the way. It’s going to come along. I’m not worried at all. I was out there more anxious than anything.”
DeRozan knows that the transition is a process, but believes things will only get better moving forward.
“As the next few days go by, the next few games, it’s only going to get easier and easier,” DeRozan said. “I expect I’ll be rusty. Just go out there and try to feel things out and understand what I can get better at.”
“It’s pretty much a given that team-oriented players, when they get into situation like DeMar’s in now, he’s gonna probably pick and choose a little bit,” Spurs head coach Greg Popovich said. “He’s gonna take his time, get the lay of the land, figure out his teammates, and in that respect I thought he was great. He looked for his stuff, he helped with his teammates. It was a great first outing for him.”
Teammate Rudy Gay understands what DeRozan is going through, joining the Spurs himself last season.
“We had a couple guys who have been there. We have them on the court and you throw DeMar in, and we could pretty much coach him just like I was coached last year,” Gay said. “It’s easier that way to keep a couple veterans out there with DeMar so he can learn where he’ll be most productive. The younger guys? They’re just playing, trying to find their way, and coach is trying to figure out where he can put them in the lineup and how our team can benefit off of each one of them.”
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