Spurs Sports & Entertainment
Following weeks of speculation about the relationship between the San Antonio Spurs franchise and Kawhi Leonard, the superstar told reporters that there is no strain, going so far to say that he wants to end his career as a Spur
's Michael C. Wright tweeted the news Wednesday morning.
In a clip
posted to the ESPN
website, Leonard said there isn't "friction"
between himself and the Spurs franchise.
"I talk to Pop everyday," Leonard told reporters
. "He knows what the progressions were. He knows what I am doing the whole entire time."
Leonard's reassuring comments come after his devastating quadriceps injury
during the Western Conference finals last season that's made him miss all but nine games in the 2017-2018 season. In November, head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters that he had never seen an injury
While Leonard initially returned to the court
in December, a shoulder injury caused him to undergo further rehabilitation. In a January report
, Wright and Adrian Wojnarowski, also from ESPN
, speculated the Spurs-Leonard relationship, saying work needed to be done
"to repair what has been until now a successful partnership." Leonard was medically cleared by the team, but opted not to play and even sought out additional consultation
at a New York facility.
In February, Popovich told reporters he'd be "surprised"
if Leonard returned at all this season, sparking reports of whether Leonard would stay with the Spurs when he becomes a free agent in summer 2019.
Rumors were somewhat put to bed when Leonard returned to the team's practice facility
late last month, but his comments on Wednesday have been the first time he's spoken to media since January 13 (when he last played). It's also the first time Leonard has responded to reports of "friction."
As far as his return to the court
, Leonard told reporters "soon."
"I don't have a set date right now," Leonard said
. "The progressions that I'm making has been great, so I've just gotta keep doing what I'm doing."
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