Gregg Popovich: Kawhi Leonard ‘doing what he’s supposed to do’

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said last week he’d be surprised Kawhi Leonard returned this season, noting it was getting late for the star forward to acclimate. Then, a report emerged San Antonio had long cleared Leonard to play, but he was seeking other opinions.

It all seemed as if the Spurs were trying to pressure Leonard into playing.

Now, Popovich sounds much more patient.

Popovich, via Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News:

“He’s doing what he’s supposed to do,” Popovich said. “He’s working hard at it. He wants to get back, and when and if he feels like he is ready to go, he will be there.”

Maybe we read Popovich and the Spurs all wrong.

More likely, Popovich is backing off now that Leonard is telling teammates he’ll play again and is reportedly targeting a return this month. This seems like a positive step toward détente.