Last night Kawhi Leonard returned to San Antonio in the Raptors red and black, and was booed. I’m not really surprised about it, the break up between the Spurs and Kawhi was ugly. For those of you who live under a rock I’ll give you the quick version of the whole ordeal; Kawhi felt he was hurt, team doctors said otherwise, Kawhi sat out, his teammates spoke out against him, Kawhi’s personal doctor said he wasn’t 100%, Kawhi requested a trade after the season. All caught up? Good. On paper, yeah, Kawhi getting a negative reaction makes sense. The team felt he was having some sort of holdout, and fans of the team agreed, but if you really think about it Spurs fans are stupid.
I mean, I see why Spurs fans believe Kawhi is in the wrong. When his teammates, and Spurs legends, speak out against him it’s easy to align yourself against him.
Everything said by Manu here is totally fair, every last word. Kawhi wasn’t there, so he wasn’t helping, and San Antonio had to move on from him and prepare with who they had. Manu goes on to say what Kawhi should be doing, like staying late after practice and watching video with the team. Again, coming from Manu it is all fair. However, when you change the person saying these things, essentially calling Leonard out for being a poor teammate, that’s where Spurs fans have to be smarter.
Oh really, Tony Parker? You “agree 100% with Manu?” Did you follow Manu’s template of being a good teammate when you were sexting your teammates wife? Google “Tony Parker and Erin Barry” if you aren’t familiar with what I’m talking about. What’s funny is Tony Parker returns to San Antonio in ten days with the Hornets. He’s going to get a standing ovation for what he accomplished on the court, because what he did off of it was nullified in fans minds. Why doesn’t Kawhi get that treatment? Tony Parker literally ended two marriages, yet he’s a legend. Kawhi just wanted to work somewhere else, and he gets showered in boos. Makes a ton of sense. I think a lot of this has to do with San Antonio wanting to be like the “cool kids” and boo former players who wanted to leave. Spurs fans equate what Kawhi did to what LeBron and Kevin Durant did. They thought they’d look cool like Cleveland when LeBron came back with the Heat or Oklahoma City when Durant strolled in with the Warriors. Instead they looked like Indiana when Paul George came back; stupid.
First of all this isn’t like LeBron leaving Cleveland or Kevin Durant leaving OKC for a multitude of reasons. For starters, Kawhi brought a title to San Antonio. He was a Finals MVP, two time Defensive Player of the Year, two time MVP runner up, and a multiple time all star. He achieved not only personal success, but team success in his Spurs run, something LeBron and Kevin Durant didn’t do before leaving their teams. Secondly, Kawhi demanded a trade as opposed to leaving in free agency. He didn’t hold a press conference that was on televisions nation wide, he didn’t wait until the end of free agency to join a record setting team that bounced him out of the playoffs the year prior. At the start of the off season he demanded a trade, that gave Coach Pop enough time to get everything in order and find some solid return for Kawhi, which they did. Is DeMar DeRozan as good as Kawhi? Certainly not, but he is still a very good NBA player. Even in his departure Kawhi, much like Paul George, treated the team that molded him into the best two way player in the league a chance at success.
Spurs fans sit on five NBA Championships in recent memory, and now that the window maybe closed they’re lashing out at the guy who they feel slammed it shut. Kawhi could’ve carried the Spurs to another title or two, he’s that good, but why is it so bad that he wanted out? When questioned about it after the game last night Kawhi answered like a complete professional.
How any fan base could hate this guy is beyond me. I can understand if Kawhi just walked away, leaving the Spurs with nothing, but he didn’t. He felt he was wronged by his employer so he split, and anyone who finds something wrong with that is stupid.
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