It’t not often that you hear about any disconnect or rifts within the San Antonio Spurs organization, but there could be one reportedly brewing.
According to a report from ESPN, Spurs star Kawhi Leonard’s nagging quad injury is effecting his relationship with the franchise and coaching staff.
Leonard and his camp are described as “distant” and “disconnected” from the Spurs organization.
Spurs general manager RC Buford rejected the reporting in an interview with ESPN.
“There is no issue between the Spurs organization and Kawhi,” Buford said. “From Day 1 all parties have worked together to find the best solutions to his injury.”
“This has been difficult for everyone,” Buford told ESPN. “It’s been difficult for Kawhi. He’s an elite-level player. It’s been difficult for the team, because they want to play with a great teammate. And it’s been difficult for our staff. Historically we’ve been able to successfully manage injuries. This rehab hasn’t been simple and it hasn’t gone in a linear fashion.”
“We sought outside expertise with the best tendon experts in the world,” Buford said. “It worked beautifully for Tony [Parker] but it hasn’t worked the same for Kawhi.”
Back in November, Spurs head coach Greg Popovich said that he had “never” encountered a quadriceps issue like the one Leonard is experiencing.
The Spurs made public a decision to shut down Leonard indefinitely earlier this month after he jumped in and out of the lineup with a strained left shoulder.
Popovich said that Leonard “didn’t reinjure” the quad saying that the team was being cautious with their superstar.
“You’ve got to be confident in your body to go out there and play at the level he’s expected to play,” Popovich said. “We didn’t feel he was ready. His confidence level wasn’t there. So we decided to give it some more time.”