Scottie Pippen appeared on ESPN’s The Jump yesterday to discuss the relationship between Gregg Popovich and former Spur Kawhi Leonard, and some interesting revelations came to light. He detailed how Pop approached him before everything went south about visiting with Leonard while the team was Chicago because he felt the two had a similar game, and Leonard could learn a lot from Pippen.
Pippen also gave his own impression from his time with Leonard:
“It was hard. He did speak, but as you guys know, Kawhi’s a very quiet player, so he doesn’t speak much off the court, either. But it was great just to sit down and talk to him.”
“I kind of admired his game and told him I’d been watching him and could see he’s been getting better and better,” Pippen said. “And things I felt like he could work on to become even a better player. And I felt like he’s filled all those voids.”
Perhaps the most interesting nugget from the adjoining article is the revelation that Leonard and Pop are still constantly in touch.
Sources have told ESPN’s Michael C. Wright that Popovich and Leonard have kept in touch since the player was traded to Toronto in July. In November, after Popovich made headlines with comments on Leonard’s leadership, the sources said the two remained solidly in touch via text messages.
What do you all think about the extent to which Pippen influenced Leonard’s game, his belief that KL ‘filled all those voids’ Pippen identified, as well as the assertion that Pop and Kawhi have stayed in what seems to be positive communication since the trade?