Report: Gregg Popovich regrets saying Kawhi Leonard wasn’t a leader

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Spurs president-coach Gregg Popovich said Kawhi Leonard – who spent his first seven seasons in San Antonio before being traded to the Raptors – wasn’t a leader.

Leonard seemingly didn’t appreciate that.

Tim Bontemps of ESPN:

Popovich has regretted both his comments and the way they were perceived, sources said

I wouldn’t be surprised if Popovich regretted his comments and the way they were perceived. But this seems like a weird thing to leak through anonymous sources. Why not just publicly apologize and/or clarify? That seems like a much more effective way to put this to rest if that’s how Popovich really feels.

Anyway, Popovich was right. Leonard was a great player for the Spurs but not a great leader. They had other leaders – most notably Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. They allowed the younger and quieter Leonard to follow. And that’s OK! Not everyone on a team can be a leader. Teams need followers, and Leonard seemed like a great follower most of his time in San Antonio.

But it also seemed Popovich unnecessarily went out of his way to slight Leonard.

If that wasn’t Popovich’s intent, he should say so – himself, on the record.