Tony Parker said, after signing with the Charlotte Hornets, that he thinks the media blew his comments on San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard out of proportion.
In the midst of Kawhi Leonard’s quadriceps injury that took him out for most of the 2017-18 season, Tony Parker contrasted it to his own, identical ailment, and said it was “one hundred times worse.” This apparently put a divide between these San Antonio Spurs stars, with Leonard apparently labeling it the “final straw.”
Parker left San Antonio before Leonard, however, signing a two-year, $10 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets. It reunites him with former Spurs assistant coach James Borrego and ends a 17-year run with the Silver and Black which started in 2001.
As Parker said his goodbyes, he opened up on the Leonard comments, according to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, and claimed the media blew it out of proportion. He said, “It’s very sad that the media took one quote and made it sound like I didn’t want to play with him.”
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 6, 2018
That puts to bed any animosity between Parker and Leonard, at least from one player’s side. The latter has yet to speak out on it; although, he only talked to the media on a handful of occasions in this year-long process.
Either way, these players will be on different teams in the 2018-19 season. Leonard remains a Spur until further notice, as trade rumors continue to swirl on where he will go, whether it’s one of the Los Angeles teams, the Boston Celtics or the Philadelphia 76ers.
Parker’s quad injury occurred in the second round of the 2017 playoffs, which took him out from May to November 2017. Leonard’s was announced before the 2017 preseason and carried until the season ended, playing just nine games in between. This became the catalyst of the split between the player and organization.