Tony Parker's comments about his quad injury being “a hundred times worse” than the ailment Kawhi Leonard dealt with this season was the "last straw" for Leonard, according to ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.
Parker sustained a ruptured left quadriceps in May of 2017 and underwent surgery. The procedure was done by Spurs doctors and the future Hall-of-Famer was able to make his return to the court in November.
“I’ve been through it,” Parker said in March. “It was a rehab for me for eight months. Same kind of injury, but mine was a hundred times worse, but the same kind of injury. You just stay positive. I had options, too. Obviously when you have a big injury like that you can go to L.A., Europe, France. I could have gone anywhere, but I trust my Spurs doctors. They have been with me my whole career. They know my body better than anybody.”
Parker and Manu Ginobili reportedly led a players-only meeting in which Spurs veterans asked Leonard whether he planned to return this season. Leonard was caught off guard by the meeting and left the team for New York to rehab his injury.
Leonard has requested a trade from the Spurs and prefers to join the Los Angeles Lakers. San Antonio was hopingcoach Gregg Popovich could convince Leonard to change his mind, but Leonard told Popovich during their meeting in San Diego that he wants out as soon as possible.
The Lakers re-engaged the Spurs Wednesday in aggressively pursuing Leonard and talks were productive, per the LA Times. League officials seem to believe the Lakers have to offer the Spurs a package built around Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and future first-round picks in exchange for Leonard.