What Injury Says About Kawhi Leonard; Is Anthony Davis Talking Too Big? | Out of Bounds

Spurs doctors have reportedly cleared Kawhi Leonard to play but the star guard is holding himself out and Coach Pop doesn’t expect him to play again this season. Gilbert Arenas and the #OutofBounds crew discuss Kawhi’s lengthy absence with a quad injury and what it’s revealed about him and the Spurs. Next, Gil and the guys react to Anthony Davis’ assertion that the Pelicans would have run through the Western Conference playoffs if fellow New Orleans big man Boogie Cousins hadn’t injured his Achilles. But seeing as Boogie is in a wheelchair now…are the Pels’ wings clipped? Moving to the NCAA, in “The Pull-Up” Gil gives career advice to Trae Young, the Oklahoma guard whose fire freshman season has cooled TF off. Finally, with a report that the Warriors and Kings will play a preseason game in Seattle, the OOB gang wonders if and when the Emerald City will get the Sonics back, before the conversation gets messy determining which cities without an NBA team deserve one and which NBA cities should lose theirs. 

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Gregg Popovich Takes Aim at Zaza Pachulia Over His ‘Dangerous, Unsportsmanlike’ Play on Kawhi Leonard

Whether or not Zaza Pachulia intentionally tried to hurt Kawhi Leonard, his questionable closeout was a topic of hot debate after Game 1 of the Spurs vs. Warriors series. But there is no debate in Coach Gregg Popovich's mind, and he went off on Golden State's center during Monday's mid-day gathering with the media.

Popovich called the play “dangerous” and “unsportsmanlike” in an amazing rant that lasted over 90 seconds. You can catch most of it in the video above, and the full transcript of his remarks on Pachulia below:

The two step, lead with your foot closeout is not appropriate. It's dangerous, it's unsportsmanlike, it's just not what anybody does to anybody else. 

This particular individual has a history with that kind of action. You can look back at Dallas games where he got a flagrant 2 for elbowing Patty Mills. The play where he took Kawhi down and locked his arm in Dallas, could have broken his arm. Ask David West, his current teammate, how things went, when Zaza was playing for Dallas and he and David got into it. And then think about the history he's had and what that means to a team, what happened last night. A totally unnatural closeout that the league has outlawed years ago, and pays great attention to, and Kawhi's not there. And you want to know how we feel about it?

You want to know if that lessens our chances or not. We're playing very possibly the best team in the league—we don't know what's going to happen in the East—and 9.75 people out of 10 would figure the Warriors will beat the Spurs. Well, we've had a pretty damn good season, we've played fairly well in the playoffs, I think we're getting better. We're up 23 points in the third quarter, against Golden State, and Kawhi goes down like that, and you want to know if our chances are less? And you want to know how we feel? That's how we feel. 

Popovich has never been afraid to speak his mind, whether he's ranting about Donald Trump or going off on the officials, and this is a blistering rant on a play that knocked his star player out of the game. He may catch a big fine for calling an opponent out as a dirty player, but there was no way he was going to let Leonard's injury go by without a comment.

He certainly has an axe to grind here, but Coach Pop is an authority on the sport with a long history of facing Pachulia as an opponent. Even if you're not a Spurs fan, his words are worth considering.

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