Zaza Pachulia opened up about the infamous injury of Kawhi Leonard on Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and the Spurs.
Pachulia said he texted Leonard after the incident, but got no response.
The Spurs were up by 25 points in the third quarter against the Warriors. Leonard went up for a three-pointer and Pachulia tried to challenge the shot. Leonard, though, landed on Pachulia’s foot, causing him to sprain his ankle.
Leonard left the game and did not return for the rest of the series, which the Spurs eventually lost, 4-0. The Warriors won the title that season.
“(I texted) Listen, it definitely was not on purpose and hopefully you can get back sooner on the court. I wanted him to know from me because there were so many words out there. I really felt bad. I’m an athlete too. My kids are playing (sports). I don’t want anybody to go through it.
Fans can say whatever they want. I can’t argue with them, I can’t fight with them whether it was an accident or was it done on purpose. But for the professionals, for the people who play this game, talking about how I did it on purpose, it’s kind of sad that.
It’s just basketball. We’re just trying to entertain people. We’re all human beings, we’re all trying to be role models to many kids. We have different backgrounds and we represent different countries,” Pachulia said during his appearance on the Runnin’ Plays podcast.