Spurs players met with Kawhi Leonard last weekend and asked him to return to the court as the season winds down, ESPN.com reported.
Leonard, who has missed the majority of the season with a quad injury, has been asked by the team to get back in the lineup and help San Antonio push for a playoff spot.
The players-only meeting was led by veteran Tony Parker Saturday night after the team beat the Bucks. It was described as "tense and emotional" as players spoke up and expressed their frustrations over Leonard's absence — both physically and mentally.
Leonard maintained that he had good reason to sit out as his leg recovered, according to sources cited by ESPN.
However, teammate Danny Green called out the report, saying it "couldn’t be anymore incorrect."
Couldn’t be anymore incorrect lol https://t.co/xo4yVyOvn2
— Danny Green (@DGreen_14) March 22, 2018
Spurs writer Jabari Young also disputed ESPN's report and said the teammates just wanted to check in on Leonard's status.
1st off.. ESPN has it wrong. The meeting wasn’t tense. It caught Kawhi off guard, and teammates just wanted to check on his status so they wouldn’t want to hear it from media. He had support from teammates #Spurs https://t.co/xcjKq9vcck
— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) March 22, 2018
Leonard was supposed to return to the court last week, but decided he wasn't ready and opted to remain sidelined. Leonard has participated in some activities during practice, but with only 11 games left on the Spurs' schedule in the regular season, it's unclear if Leonard will wait to see if the team makes it to the playoffs to make his return.
Veteran Manu Ginobili didn't seem optimistic that Leonard will play this season, telling reporters that the team needs to plan to play without the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.