SAN ANTONIO – Spurs forward Rudy Gay spoke about reports that surfaced on Thursday morning that said the team held a players only meeting on Saturday to get clarity on Kawhi Leonard’s status moving forward.
The report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said the meeting with Leonard was at times “tense” and “emotional” with several players voicing their frustrations and concerns about the “divide” that has created tension between the Spurs all-star forward and the organization.
RELATED: Spurs hold ‘emotional' players-only meeting to discuss Kawhi Leonard's return, reports say
Gay, while at a Spurs community event, said it was the exact opposite of what’s being reported by ESPN.
“I’ve been on a lot of teams and obviously things get discussed,” Gay said. “I wouldn’t say it was a legit team meeting, it was just one of those things where we all got together and we talked about things that were going on.”
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Leonard has missed all but nine games this season with a right quadriceps injury.
Wojnarowski reported the players implored Leonard to return before the end of the season, and the Spurs small forward spoke about why he has not felt comfortable about returning to the court.
#Spurs news: Rudy Gay discusses ESPN report of a tense and emotional players-only meeting with Kawhi Leonard...said today "Heated? I don't think so." Hear @RudyGay set the record straight below⬇️ #KSATnews #KSATsports #NBA #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/atbLDvbwKh— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) March 22, 2018
While Gay admitted to the players getting together, he said it was not as tension filled as reports indicated.
“Heated? I don’t think so. It was just a conversation. Nothing more than that, nothing different than I have seen before,” Gay said. “Actually it was a lot lighter than I have seen before. It was nothing for you guys to be worried about.”
Spurs guard Danny Green took to Twitter on Thursday to refute the story, posting it, “couldn’t be more incorrect."
Couldn’t be anymore incorrect lol https://t.co/xo4yVyOvn2— Danny Green (@DGreen_14) March 22, 2018
The Spurs have refrained from shutting down Leonard down for the year. However, head coach Gregg Popovich previously said Leonard must be cleared by his own medical staff before they have a discussion about him returning.
Manu Ginobili said Wednesday the team has to have the mindset that Leonard will not return this season.
"We fell for it a week ago again. I guess you guys made us fall for it," Ginobili said. "But we have to think that he's not coming back, that we are who we are and that we got to fight without him.”
The Spurs are on a five-game win streak and currently in sixth place in the Western Conference standings with ten games remaining in the regular season.
Leonard was ruled out of Friday night’s game against Utah, meaning he only has nine games to return this year.