Dati ay humingi ng tulong si Gregg Popovich kay Scottie Pippen para maimpluwensiyahan nito ang laro ni Kawhi Leonard.
Ayon kay Pippen, nangyari ito ilang taon na ang nakalipas pagtapos ng laban ng Spurs at Bulls sa Chicago at nilapitan ni Popovich si Pippen at nakiusap na kausapin niya si Leonard.
“Kind of get a feel because he felt like that his game patterned my game a little bit,” ani Pippen noong Biyernes sa kanyang pag-guest sa ESPN’s The Jump.
Matapos ang pagbabalik ni Leonard sa San Antonio suot ang kanyang bagong uniform na Toronto Raptors, sinabi ni Pippen na nag-improve si two-time Defensive Player of the Year at 2014 Finals’ MVP sa mga bagay na napuna niya noong bago pa sila mag-meeting.
“I kind of admired his game and told him I’d been watching him and could see he’s been getting better and better,” ani Pippen. “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,” dagdag pa nito.
Ayon pa kay Pippen, ang kanyang pakikipag-usap kay Leonard ay kanyang na-enjoy at nagbigay sa kanya ng impresyon na ang personalidad nito sa publiko ay totoong personalidad nito kahit saan.
“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,” ani Scottie Pippen.