You could watch basketball every day of your life and you’ve almost definitely never seen anything quite like this.
During the second quarter of a game between the Spurs and the Clippers on Wednesday night, Kawhi Leonard made a trip to take two shots at the free-throw line. Leonard, who was drafted by San Antonio in 2011 and played for the organization until 2018, was booed by the crowd at Frost Bank Center in Texas.
Between the first and second attempt at the charity stripe, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich grabbed a P.A. microphone and told the crowd to cut it out.
— Bally Sports San Antonio (@BallySportsSA) November 23, 2023
It was an unexpected and bold decision by Popovich, who has coached the Spurs since 1996.
Popovich, who worked closely with Leonard when the five-time All-Star played in San Antonio before the NBA Finals MVP demanded a trade, is one of the only coaches who could get away with such a surprising declaration to his own home crowd.
After drafting sensational big man Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the coach signed a five-year extension to remain with the Spurs.
It’s unlikely, though, that we’ll ever see anything like this from Popovich again during his tenure as a head coach in the NBA.