A group of San Antonio Spurs fans has filed a lawsuit against Golden State center-back Zaza Pachulia for injuring forward Kawhi Leonard, the Texan star, in the first game of the NBA West Conference final.
A group of Spurs supporters, including season ticket holders and a local store owner, have been the signatories to the suit, filed in Bexar County District Court in Texas.
It claims that Pachulia’s actions against Leonard “devastated the Spurs’ chances of being competitive” and diminished “the value of the tickets purchased by the plaintiff.”
“All we are asking the court is that this type of behavior, which can and causes serious injury to our team, is not allowed,” said Alfonso Kennard Jr., plaintiffs’ lead lawyer, according to information provided by the Local newspaper “San Antonio Express-News”.
The plaintiffs seek compensation for damages of no more than $ 73,000 and a temporary restraining order issued requiring the defendants to restrict the conduct described.
Pachulia, during the Warriors’ win Sunday in the first game of the Western Conference final, marked Leonard when he made a 2-point shot near the Spurs bench, closing the movement under the eaves feet.
Leonard stepped on the foot of Pachulia, falling on his left ankle previously injured since the fifth game of the semifinals against the Houston Rockets and that cost him to lose the sixth game of the tie.
Nor was he able to play the second of the finals against the Warriors on Tuesday and is still unknown if he can do it in the third that will be played next Saturday at the AT & T Center in San Antonio.
The suit says that Pachulia acted “without excuse or justification, intentionally and maliciously invaded the treading area of Kawhi Leonard.”
Pachulia has denied that he had the slightest intention of looking for Leonard’s injury, which he admired, and was more categorical after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich accused him of being “dangerous” and “Unsporting”, aside from defining him as a “dirty” player.
“My focus on this game for 14 years that I’ve been in the league is to play hard and give 100 percent of what I have,” Pachulia said. “So I do not agree with the qualification that I am a dirty player, because I do not make concessions in the field like they taught me from the first day.”