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.”
Spurs’ Pau Gasol Not Thinking About Retirement
“I’m not thinking about retirement at the moment,” Gasol, 38, according to the AFP. “Thought I know it’ll come at some point and time, my plan and focus is to enjoy this season to the max.”
“I want to keep giving it my all, making a difference and loving what I do.”
Gasol has played 17 seasons in the NBA and averaged 10.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game during the 2017-2018 season.
Spurs Sign Quincy Pondexter
Pondexter could fill the void left by Manu Ginobili, who retired earlier this week.
Pondexter, 30, played 23 games with the Chicago Bulls last season averaging 2.0 points per contest.
Spurs’ Manu Ginobili Announces Retirement
The 41-year old veteran posted the following on Twitter:
Today, with a wide range of feelings, I’m announcing my retirement from basketball. IMMENSE GRATITUDE to everyone (family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans) involved in my life in the last 23 years. It’s been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams. pic.twitter.com/3MLCUtmd6K
— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) August 27, 2018
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