San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich addressed the ESPN report alleging the strained relationship between star forward Kawhi Leonard and the team amid his treatment and recovery from right quadriceps tendinopathy. In an earlier article, Adrian Wojnarowski and Michael C. Wright of ESPN reported that Leonard and his representatives are "distant" and "disconnected" from the organization. They also claimed that there is an ongoing discord between Leonard and the Spurs due to frustration while the star forward is recovering from a quad injury.

However, Popovich shrugged off the report, telling Wright that he shouldn’t have called the situation a “soap opera.”

According to Popovich, the situation could be considered a “soap opera” if the team talks about it every day. Popovich admitted that Leonard’s rehab is going slower than the team has expected. “If we're going to err, as we have in the past, we're going to do it on the conservative side,” emphasized Popovich, citing the time that the Spurs rested Tim Duncan in the playoffs due to a knee injury despite the fact that he could play

Spurs shut down Leonard indefinitely

Leonard missed the preseason and the first 27 games of the regular season due to the quad injury. After playing nine games, the Spurs decided to send Leonard back to San Antonio last week to continue his rehabilitation from the quad injury.

It was reported that Leonard has told Popovich that he’s not confident in his ability to play through the injury, forcing the Spurs to shut him down “indefinitely.” However, Popovich clarified that Leonard did not reinjure his quad and the Spurs were simply erring on the side of caution.

Spurs general manager RC Buford said the team sought the advice of the best tendon experts in the world for the quad injuries of Leonard and veteran guard Tony Parker.

While Parker responded well to the treatment, the process doesn’t have the same effect for Leonard. This led Leonard’s camp to seek the second opinion from other doctors, outside of the Spurs’ medical team.

Popovich reacts to James’ feat

In the Spurs’ 114-102 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Popovich shared a warm embrace with LeBron James, who reached a career milestone in that game as the youngest player to reach the 30,000-point plateau at 33 years and 23 days.

When asked about what he told James during their embrace and post-game conversation, Popovich said “none of your business.” However, Popovich called James a “great, great competitor and a great player.” On Wednesday, ESPN host Max Kellerman said that James should join forces with Popovich when the former turns free agent after this season.