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Why pro-Trump Spurs fans are abandoning the team

Tribune News Service logo Tribune News Service 4/16/2018 By Peter Dawson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

a man wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a crowd: San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich walks on the sideline during the second quarter of Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Monday, May 22, 2017 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. © Jose Carlos Fajardo/San Jose Mercury News/TNS San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich walks on the sideline during the second quarter of Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Monday, May 22, 2017 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The San Antonio Spurs are suffering through a rough couple of days.

On Saturday, they got thumped by the Golden State Warriors (113-92) in their first game of the NBA playoffs.

When asked when star forward Kawhi Leonard, who missed most of the regular season with a right quadriceps injury, might return to the team, head coach Gregg Popovich said "talk to his group." Leonard is not expected to make it back on the court this season.

On Tuesday, a new Washington Post article revealed that some fans are abandoning the team due to Popvich's on-going political commentary, particularly his remarks that oppose President Donald Trump.

Popovich said that because of Trump, whom he's called a "soulless coward" and a "pathological liar," the United States is "an embarrassment to the world."

One fan, Cassandra Cassanova, told the Washington Post that when Popovich began talking about politics she threw away all of her Spurs gear and memorabilia in a trash bag and donated it to Goodwill.

"That's how angry I got. It ruined my basketball life," she told the Washington Post. "I took it personally. I was such a loyal fan and he insulted me. Why would you start attacking the people who had been so loyal?"

Fan Bob Mulherin said that while he watched the Spurs-Warriors game on Saturday, his wife and son (who were also San Antonio fans) did not.

"It is sad that Pop basically told my wife and my son and me for that matter that we were fools for supporting Donald Trump," Mulherin told the Post. "What happens when someone calls you a fool? You avoid them."

Last November, the coach told reporters that he receives a ton of fan mail that covers many sides of the political spectrum. He also said he tries to respond to as many of those letters as possible.

Visit the Fort Worth Star-Telegram at www.star-telegram.com

Related slideshow: Best of the 2018 NBA playoffs (Provided by photo services)

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