San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The notoriously curt coach goes on long rants about the president constantly.
But aside from his imagined crisis over Trump, Popovich is undergoing a real crisis with his team.
Popovich has been coach and general manager of the Spurs for 20 years and won five NBA championships.
But it appears that the Spurs could be on the decline since superstar Forward Kawhi Leonard reportedly wants out due to discord with Popovich.
From USA Today:
At this time a year ago, Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard was getting MVP buzz en route to his second All-Star appearance and an All-NBA first team selection – but Leonard has played in just nine games this year in what has become a lost season for the 26-year-old.
Leonard is out indefinitely with a quadriceps injury, and according to a report from ESPN, his treatment and ongoing rehabilitation of his injury has created a rift between Leonard and the Spurs.
“Multiple sources describe Leonard and his camp as ‘distant’ and ‘disconnected’ from the organization.”
Following the ESPN report, Jalen Rose said on First Take that Leonard wants to leave San Antonio.
“The reason why is tenfold. One is they’ve been unable to attract elite-level, All-NBA caliber free agents to come play with him.
…. Here’s why, I think, players have not done that. The ‘Spurs’ way’ looks like opportunity dressed in overalls. It looks like work, and people really don’t want that. Players talk about wanting to win and wanting to be a champion, but ultimately they want to do it on their own terms. And when you go to San Antonio, guess who is the CEO of that organization? Gregg Popovich. It’s going to be his way.
And also the way his injury situation was handled. You see him in the lineup, you see him out of the lineup. Is it his quad? What’s going on with his history? Was he misdiagnosed?
Will we look back on at this situation with his injury kind of like we’re doing with the Boston Celtics? Remember, the Celtics fired their entire staff as it related to how Isaiah Thomas’ injury was being handled because his hip was misdiagnosed.”
One of the few big-name free agents the Spurs have been able to attract is LaMarcus Aldridge, and even he expressed dissatisfaction with Popovich.
Popovich pointed to that candid interaction with Aldridge as somewhat of a catalyst for the two coming to a better understanding before the start of the season. Asked what helped to bring about Aldridge’s resurgent 2017-18 campaign, Popovich deadpanned, “When he said, ‘I want to be traded.'”
“It’s as simple as that,” Popovich said. “I said, ‘Whoa, nobody’s ever said that to me before.’ It’s my 20-whatever year, and nobody’s ever said that, like, ‘I’m not enjoying this. I’m not confident. I’m not sure you want me here. I want to be traded.'”
The Spurs’ two best players aren’t happy in San Antonio. Thus far the situation is manageable, but the house of cards could come tumbling if Kawhi Leonard puts his foot down.