LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard had a difficult breakup with the San Antonio Spurs. Despite this, Leonard still has love for Gregg Popovich. Speaking with reporters after Saturday night's win over the Spurs, Leonard credited Popovich for helping make him the player he is today.
"He's the reason why I'm the player I am today," Leonard said when asked about Popovich. "Built that foundation, showing me winning basketball. He's a great coach. Still one of the best coaches I've had. We've been in too many battles to have a scar on our relationship."
Leonard was a Finals MVP with the Spurs, and he also emerged into a superstar level player towards the end of his time there. While it did not end well, he still has a positive relationship with Popovich, who helped make him the player he is today.
It has been a rough last year for Leonard, who suffered a torn ACL in the 2021 playoffs, but he is starting to work his way back. Looking better with each game, Leonard perhaps looked his best during this win over the Spurs, and will continue to build off this performance.
While the Spurs roster is entirely different from when Leonard played there, Popovich remains as the one constant, and he is a somebody that Leonard still has positive feelings towards. Despite what some may think, there is still love there between Kawhi Leonard and his former coach.