Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has been able to clear his head over the last few days while Cleveland and Toronto battled for the Eastern Division title.
After Toronto emerged with a victory Saturday night that boosted the Raptors into the NBA Finals for the first time in team history, Kerr and the Warriors will be challenged to stop Toronto star forward Kawhi Leonard.
Remember him? The same player who was nurtured in the San Antonio Spurs system and played the first seven years of his career with them before he was traded last summer.
It turns out that Kerr may have been looking for some extra intel about Leonard and the Raptors. He was spotted out at dinner this weekend with a special guest.
That person, according to the website Sportsgossip.com, was none other than Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
— Kat So (@kathleenso) May 25, 2019
The two were sharing a bottle of wine ahead of Kerr and the Warriors’ fifth straight trip to The Finals.
The timing of the dinner is curious and interesting.
Could Pop be giving Kerr, who played for the Spurs from 1998-2001 and 2002-03 and was part of two championship teams with them, a few pointers on how to slow down Leonard?
If anything it might provide a little extra motivation to Leonard when the series begins on Thursday.
Leonard’s uncle and advisor, Dennis Robertson, told Yahoo.com that the Raptors’ victory didn’t provide any extra satisfaction after his controversial trade from the Spurs.
“We’re a humble family and we’re just enjoying the moment,” Robertson said. “Most people would say it’s vindication, but I’m not sure about that. But it was nice that we kept our mouths shut and just let everything play out.”
Uncle Dennis Speaks: Uncle of Raptors star Kawhi Leonard to Yahoo Sports on why they requested trade from Spurs, initial reluctance to go to Toronto, being vindicated, affection for city and free-agency process. https://t.co/gJrsSW4HRF
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 26, 2019
But if anything, Leonard’s looming free agency at the end of the season and the way he left the Spurs will make him one of the more interesting subplots in the upcoming Finals. The best-of-7 series begins on Thursday night in Toronto.