SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs may have lost to the Golden State Warriors 112-92 Thursday night but for Spurs fans, they came out winners after drenching Warriors center Zaza Pachulia in endless “boos” from start to finish at the AT&T Center.
Thursday night’s game was Pachulia’s first appearance on San Antonio’s court since being spotlighted in last year’s controversial play of sidelining Spurs’ superstar Kawhi Leonard in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
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Pachulia, who slid his foot under Leonard’s already sore left ankle, was immediately bashed on social media after Game 1 with many calling his basketball move a “dirty play.”
Before the start of the 2017-18 season, the NBA issued a new rule allowing referees to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land -- several media outlets called it the “Zaza Rule.”
While the Spurs eventually blew a 25-point lead in Game 1 to only later get swept by the Warriors, Pachulia isn’t the only opponent to break the hearts of Spurs fans.
Enter: Los Angeles Lakers and Derek Fisher in the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals.
Die-hard Spurs fans will recall the moment when Fisher hit a wild, off-balance shot with only 0.4 seconds left in Game 5 of the WCSF, defeating the silver and black 74-73 and taking a 3-2 lead in the series.
The “0.4 shot” was labeled as the turning point for the Lakers as they closed out the series against the Spurs in Game 6 at Los Angeles, killing their chance of back-to-back championships after winning the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2003.
With Pachulia’s controversial play on Leonard and Fisher’s “0.4 shot” in mind, KSAT-12’s David Sears and KSAT.com’s Adrian Garcia wanted to ask fans: “Who’s the worst villain for the Spurs: Derek Fisher or Zaza Pachulia?”
But don’t take their word for it: Chime in on the fun and vote above who you think is the worst villain for the San Antonio Spurs.