San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (C) talks to the team
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (C) talks to the team MONICA M. DAVEY

NBA feud: 'You ever heard of manslaughter?'

BASKETBALL: Tomorrow's NBA clash in Oakland between the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors promises to be a spicy encounter.

It's game two of their conference finals, and follows the Warriors securing a controversial win in the opener - a game that left Spurs coach Gregg Popovich still fuming today.

He lashed out at Warriors centre Zaza Pachulia, blaming the Georgian international for the dangerous play that has ruled his star Kawhi Leonard out of tomorrow's clash.

Leonard had helped San Antonio to a commanding 78-55 lead when he limped off with an ankle injury after being knocked by Pachulia.

"I'm not a happy camper," Popovich said.

"A two step lead with your foot close out is not appropriate. It's dangerous, it's unsportsmanlike, it's just not what anybody does, to anybody else.

"This particular individual has a history with that kind of action

"You can go back and look at Dallas games where he got a flagrant two for elbowing Patty Mills. There was a play where he took Kawhi down and locked his arm, and could have broken his arm, in Dallas."

 

San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) drives against Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia
San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) drives against Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia Jeff Chiu

Popovich suggested he believed Pachulia should face disciplinary action regardless of intent.

"Because he has this history it can't just be 'Oh it was inadvertent. He didn't have intent'. Who gives a damn what his intent was? You ever heard of manslaughter? You still go to jail if you're texting and you kill somebody," Popovich said

"All I care about is what I saw and what happened. And the history there makes me very very angry."

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