- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2017

In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia contested a jump shot by San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, causing Leonard to land awkwardly and sprain his ankle. Leonard has missed the last two games since. 

But since that injury, Pachuliatold USA Today, his family has received threats on social media and he has even had to add extra security at his children’s school.

Pachulia thought Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s pre-game rant added fuel to the fire. Before Game 2, Popovich criticized Pachulia’s play and went on a lengthy rant on how the play was unsafe.

“[Fans] just hear the message, and it’s, ‘OK, Pop said so and now let’s do this,’” Pachulia said. “It’s just wrong. You’ve got to think, and realize. Threaten me, but don’t threaten my wife or say something about my kids. It’s just wrong.

“Me as a person, as a man, I don’t mind dealing with it,” he said. “But I hate to see my family deal with it. My wife and my kids who have nothing to do with it, who are very innocent. … I just hate my family going through that. They don’t deserve that. … I’m not blaming everything on [Popovich], but he was a very big part of it.”

Pachulia has three children, an 8-year-old boy, a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl. 

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