Popovich blasts Pachulia for play that injured Kawhi Leonard (w/raw video)

Popovich called play inappropriate and dangerous

SAN FRANCISCO – Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich blasted Warriors center Zaza Pachulia on Monday for the play that forced Kawhi Leonard out of Sunday's Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

Popovich said Leonard would not play in Game 2 against Golden State and then spoke critically about Pachulia.

"A two-step lead with your foot close out is not appropriate. It's dangerous, it's unsportsmanlike. It's just not what anybody does to anybody else," Popovich said.

"And this particular individual has a history with that kind of action," Popovich said. "A totally unnatural close out that the league has outlawed years ago."

Popovich went on to bring up Pachulia's history and other incidents with NBA players including Patty Mills and current Warriors forward David West. He added he did not contact the league office. 

"This is crap, because he has this history, oh, it can't just be inadvertent or he didn't have intent. Who gives a damn about what his intent was," Popovich said.


"You ever hear of manslaughter. You still go to jail I think when you're texting and you end up killing somebody," Popovich said. "But you might not have intended to do that."

"All I care about is what I saw, all I care about is what happen and the history there exacerbates the whole situation and makes me very, very angry," Popovich said.


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About the Author:

RJ Marquez has been at KSAT since 2010. He's covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area, and is the lead reporter for KSAT Explains. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms. You can see RJ regularly on KSAT Explains and Good Morning San Antonio. He also writes a weekly Spurs newsletter.