Tom Orsborn: Can it get any worse for #Spurs? Patty Mills: “We’re going through times of adversity, but I honestly believe if we get through these times, they will end up being the toughest times. We’ll learn from it and grow and get better.”
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Michael C. Wright: The Spurs actually held a practice on Saturday, and coach Gregg Popovich is hoping the workout allowed the team to get “on the same page.” Personnel is one matter, but many of the team’s defensive struggles have come as a result of mental errors.
Sources around the situation have been pretty clear that the Spurs feel like they can repair the relationship, mainly because they can offer the so-called Super Max contract extension.
The Spurs, though, have a difficult decision on their hands. Do you invest the richest contract in franchise history for a player who didn’t exactly rush back to play this season and who has missed a ton of games over his career? In his first six seasons, Leonard missed 78 games. This year he was out 73. That’s nearly two full seasons of games missed in seven years. “Don’t you have to sign him,” asks one rival executive. “From what I understand, he wants (Gregg) Popovich to lighten up a little with practice and tweak some things. The Spurs may not want to change their ways, but this is Kawhi Leonard we’re talking about.”
Jabari Young: And now the offseason questions will come…before the nonsense starts, #Spurs and Kawhi Leonard will be the topic of discussion. Source tell @ExpressNews he’ll return to San Antonio once Exit Interviews are scheduled and take it from there.
Tom Orsborn: Uneventful shootaround at Staples. Talked to Manu about how this season – even with all its adversity and Kawhi drama – has in many ways been enjoyable. “It has been different because we had to dig (to stay alive)…but at the same time, (it’s been) nurturing, rewarding.” #Spurs
Tom Orsborn: A league source has confirmed to the Express-News that Kawhi Leonard is back in New York to continue his rehab under the supervision of his own medical people. ESPN first reported the story.
Bobby Marks: Here is what a super max extension would look like for Kawhi Leonard this summer: 19/20 $37.8M 20/21 $40.8M 21/22 $43.8M 22/23 $46.9M 23/24 $49.9M The numbers certainly jump out at you.
Spurs staff has traveled to New York to meet with Leonard and stay abreast of his treatment and activity, sources said. Leonard has been using the National Basketball Players Association headquarters gymnasium facilities in recent days, sources said.
Leonard left San Antonio and his teammates in the aftermath of increasing tension levels surrounding his disconnect with the team and several near-returns that resulted in Leonard backing off and staying on the sidelines. Leonard’s status was the focus of a Spurs player-only meeting on March 17, league sources told ESPN, and prominent teammates Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have drawn attention for public comments about Leonard’s status.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Story filed to ESPN with @Michael C. Wright: Spurs star Kawhi Leonard returned to New York for rehab this week. No timetable set on a return to San Antonio.
Here’s Spurs coach Gregg Popovich discussing the players-only meeting regarding Kawhi Leonard: “I only talk about the things that I know, and I know he’s worked hard to get back. It’s been frustrating. You don’t think he wants to come back? You don’t think we want him back? But the fact that he’s not back, it frustrates everybody for all the obvious reasons. But there’s no blame to be placed, on him or anybody else. It’s just an unfortunate situation. So what we do, what we think about, we’re going to do what we’ve been doing. The guys that are playing, that’s who the team is. And if he got added to the team, well that’s great. But you have to act like it’s not going to happen because you have to be who you are. And he’s not with us right now. So this team has to have its own identity. That seems pretty logical. That’s the only way to look at this.”
Mike Finger: Popovich, for the record, says he did not know about last week’s infamous team meeting. “I wasn’t invited.”
Jeff McDonald: Danny Green at shootaround: Does not deny there was a team meeting with Kawhi. Disputes the characterization it was acrimonious. @Tom Orsborn has your blog to come.
Tom Orsborn: Danny Green regarding the team meeting in which Kawhi was reportedly asked about his status: “Nobody in there was frustrated or took it the wrong way. We communicated like adults. We don’t have personalities in our locker room to be coming after each other.”
Tom Orsborn: Asked how he would describe the meeting with Kawhi, Parker said, “You should know better. That’s family business, locker room.”
With confusion continuing to build around Kawhi Leonard’s season status, key team veterans on the Spurs took matters into their own hands. Sources tell the Express-News veterans held a players-only meeting that was led by Tony Parker after Saturday’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves to ask Leonard about his return. The vets wanted to know if Leonard intended to play this season, and if so, when he was planning to return.
Leonard was reminded about the Spurs’ status – in the middle of a playoff push with now 10 games remaining. According to sources, Leonard, who was caught off guard by the meeting, stood his ground. He spoke up telling his teammates that a return was still the goal. But Leonard offered no set date or guarantee about a return this season.
Leonard did receive support from some teammates, urging him not to return until he feels healthy enough, sources told the Express-News. The meeting lasted roughly five to 10 minutes with no clear update on Leonard’s plans.
Brandon Paul: Player: I can’t wait to get home & rest it’s been a long week! Media: Player hints he’s had enough & growing tensions begin to divide locker room also 100% for sure player has asked a for more meaningful role in selection of post game meals! Read more he….
Brandon Paul: I made a satirical tweet which isn’t far off from reality when it comes to players words being misconstrued..much like how you took Manu’s comments. If that hurt your feelings I am sorry, wasn’t my intent. I sincerely don’t care about any so called “reports”
Brandon Paul: For months ppl have been talking about this as if it’s first injury in NBA history, & for what? Then wonder why dudes don’t want to talk to the media lol. I’m all about positivity. Let’s talk about how unreal LA has been, or how Manu is 40 going on 23, or how…
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources on ESPN: Spurs held players-only meeting, imploring Kawhi Leonard to return to lineup. Danny Green: Couldn’t be anymore incorrect lol.
With confusion continuing to build around Kawhi Leonard’s season status, key team veterans on the Spurs took matters into their own hands. Sources tell the Express-News veterans held a players-only meeting that was led by Tony Parker after Saturday’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves to ask Leonard about his return.
The vets wanted to know if Leonard intended to play this season, and if so, when he planning to return. Leonard was reminded about the Spurs’ status – in the middle of a playoff push with now 10 games remaining. According to sources, Leonard, who was caught off guard by the meeting, stood his ground. He spoke up telling his teammates that a return was still the goal. But Leonard offered no set date or guarantee about a return this season.
The San Antonio Spurs held a players-only meeting to implore All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard to return to the lineup and help the team in its push for the playoffs, league sources told ESPN.
Spurs guard Tony Parker, a four-time NBA champion, quarterbacked the meeting with his teammates and Leonard after Saturday night’s victory over Minnesota, league sources said. The conversation was described as tense and emotional at times, league sources said.
Several teammates spoke up, expressing frustration and confusion over a growing divide with Leonard that has created significant tension between the franchise star and the Spurs, league sources said. Leonard, 26, was resolute in response, insisting that he had good reason for sitting out all but nine games with a right quad injury this season, league sources said.
Tom Orsborn: Pop says #Spurs have hit a wall: ” For a large portion of the season, we were 1st or 2nd in defensive efficiency. Our last 10 games, we’ve been 22nd. That tells the whole tale…,It’s the same guys. They care just as much. So they must be getting a little bit low on fuel.”
He has been medically cleared by the Spurs, but is opting to remain out until he believes he can better manage the effects of his condition. Leonard has sought a second opinion from his own doctors. There is more at stake than the Spurs’ NBA-record run of 20 consecutive playoff appearances. Leonard’s future with the Spurs could be in play. In turn, so too could the Spurs’ two-decade reign as one of the NBA’s premier teams.
Leonard’s contentious return from tendinopathy treatment comes amid reports of a strained relationship between the player and the team. Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford have denied or downplayed the tension. Leonard has not addressed the media since reports of a fissure surfaced. The true answer will likely come this summer, if and when Leonard is offered the supermax.
Months of discord centering on elements of treatment, rehabilitation and timetables for return from a right quadriceps injury have had a chilling impact on San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard’s relationship with the franchise and coaching staff, league sources told ESPN. Under president and coach Gregg Popovich and general manager RC Buford, the Spurs have a two decades-long history of strong relationships with star players, but multiple sources describe Leonard and his camp as “distant” and “disconnected” from the organization.
In an interview with ESPN, Buford rejected the reporting of turbulence between the franchise and Leonard. “There is no issue between the Spurs organization and Kawhi,” Buford told ESPN. “From Day 1 all parties have worked together to find the best solutions to his injury.”
Buford described a frustrating process of rehabilitation for what has been an elusive solution to an injury. “This has been difficult for everyone,” Buford told ESPN. “It’s been difficult for Kawhi. He’s an elite level player. It’s been difficult for the team, because they want to play with a great teammate. And it’s been difficult for our staff. Historically we’ve been able to successfully manage injuries. This rehab hasn’t been simple and it hasn’t gone in a linear fashion.”
Tom Orsborn: Pop on state of #Spurs: “We are a mediocre team. We are an average team. So that means everything we do is a little good, little bad.”
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April 22, 2019 | 8:53 pm EDT Update
On April 9, Magic Johnson resigned as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, telling reporters before telling Jeanie Buss or any other member of the organization. Buss has no plans to hire someone to replace Johnson, who is still expected to be part of the Lakers’ free-agent recruiting this summer in some capacity.
Empowered by Buss to run the coaching search, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka met with Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams this week, with plans to interview both again next week. While those second interviews have not been officially scheduled yet, they are expected to include Buss.
Andy Larsen: Quin Snyder pregame: “We’re getting better shots than any team in the playoffs, based on qSQ ratings. We’re getting open looks. You can’t stop taking them or thinking that they’re not good shots. They are.”
Brandon Shrider: BGSU guard Justin Turner has declared for the NBA draft; will maintain his college eligibility. Statement from Michael Huger: “We fully support Justin Turner’s decision to declare for the 2019 NBA Draft. This process will allow Justin to learn more about future opportunities.”
April 22, 2019 | 7:12 pm EDT Update
Fizdale was a guest on “The Jump” on Monday afternoon and insisted, despite the 17-65 record in his first year as coach of the team that has struggled for the better part of two decades, the Knicks have something to draw the top players to join in. “[We’re having] a lot of conversations, a lot of angles that we’re trying to make sure that we show guys when they come in,” Fizdale said.”I think we’ve got a lot of positive things to show.”
David Fizdale: “Scott Perry and Steve Mills have done a heck of a job laying this thing out. We’ve got the most cap space. We have seven picks over five years, which means whoever we do get, we can continue to build around them, and I think that’s a great position to be in. We did all that in a course of a year and we laid down our culture, so I’m really excited about where we’re at.”