After San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich blasted Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia for a "dirty play" that sidelined Spurs' Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard said he doesn't believe Pachulia fouled him on goal but also admitted he hasn't seen the replay. Leonard's left ankle kept him out of the Spurs series-clinching win over the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the quarterfinals.
Pachulia was whistled for a foul for, in essence, invading Leonard's landing area, which actually is a foul - despite it being a common action by defenders.
"The two-step, lead-with-your-foot closeout is not appropriate", Popovich said. "It's unsafe, it's unsportsmanlike, it's just not what anybody does to anybody else", Popovich fumed. This particular individual has a history with that kind of action.
"So the way (Harden) stood around and played the minutes that he played, it just looks worse as a leader, when not only you're at the club but you're at the strip club", Rose said. Who gives a damn about what his intent was? Have you ever heard of manslaughter? "You still go to jail if you're texting and you kill somebody", Popovich fumed. All I care about is what happened. "All I care about is what happened and the history there exacerbates the whole situation and makes me very, very angry".
Popovich hasn't reached out to league officials regarding the play seeking punishment for Pachulia, nor does he plan to.
"I mean, Zaza is my teammate", he said. I just love this game, and I play hard. He also added that Pachulia's incident wasn't the only questionable play, and it involved the back-to-back MVP.
Popovich said if Leonard remained in the game and San Antonio lost, he would go to practice the next day and "move on". "He was contesting a shot".
Zaza Pachulia's foul on Kawhi Leonard was either dirty or just unsafe, and Gregg Popovich isn't interested in the NBA's opinion. LaMarcus is not a dirty player.
"I've never done that before", he said. He denied any intent to hurt Leonard, but that didn't stop Popovich from going off, calling the play "inappropriate".
"That was the right defense from my side to challenge the shot", Golden State's Zaza Pachulia said. "I wish he didn't land on my foot and honestly and I had no idea he landed on it until I turned back and he was already on the ground". This is the game of basketball.
"This is the game of basketball, a lot of insane stuff happens on the court, unfortunately", he said.