Robinson: Kawhi "Not Big On Talking"

Kawhi Leonard and Gregg Popovich are on the outs – and Leonard's personality may be one reason why

Taz and the Moose
June 21, 2018 - 10:29 am

USA Today Images


The San Antonio Spurs are known as one of the most professional, best-run franchises in the NBA – and their five NBA titles since 1999 are proof of that.

This past season, however, went from good to bad to soap opera, as Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard developed a contentious relationship. Leonard reportedly felt that Popovich and the Spurs did not support him during his recovery from a quad injury. The 26-year-old was limited to nine games, and the Spurs finished 47-35 – their worst record since 1996-97 (20-62).

David Robinson dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday to discuss the drama in San Antonio.

“Not big on talking,” Robinson said on Taz & The Moose, referring to Leonard. “I’ve known him for a long time – five or six years – and maybe he’s said two or three words to me. He’s not a big talking guy. If you don’t talk, things are going to get out of hand.”

Leonard, who turns 27 on June 29, can opt out of his contract after the 2018-19 season. If he stays in San Antonio, he’ll be eligible for a five-year, $219 million extension.

Can this fractured relationship be fixed?

“Absolutely,” Robinson said. “I think they have a good relationship. But the problem is when you don’t talk every day, all of a sudden I’m hearing from this person or I’m hearing from this person. I want to hear from you. I want to know what’s going on, and we want to sit down. I think that was part of the challenge.”

Popovich, hoping to mend fences, met with Leonard on Tuesday. Reports of Popovich’s success – or lack thereof – have been mixed.

Still, Robinson believes that this highly successful duo will be able to figure it out.

“I do think it’s repairable,” Robinson said. “I still think there is a good relationship there. I’m maybe a little bit on the outside looking in more so than before, but between Pop and Kawhi, there’s a high level of respect there both ways. So when there is that respect, it’s repairable.”