Zaza Pachulia is receiving threats for his role in Kawhi Leonard’s ankle injury. Least surprising thing ever. We are dealing with sports fans here. The same people that tattoo championship trophies on themselves before their team wins one. The same people that’ll take a sledge hammer to their 55″ flat screen if their guy throws an interception. The same people who barley need a reason to go in the stands after a few pops.

Not the first threats made against an athlete and they sure as hell won’t be the last.

And while Zaza isn’t saying it’s all his fault, he says some of the blame has to go to Gregg Popovich for inciting the locals: “I don’t blame everything on Pop, but what he said had a lot of influence, [and] you had a lot of people where, unfortunately, you can’t control what everybody’s intelligence is. [Fans] just hear the message, and it’s, ‘OK, Pop said so and now let’s do this.’ 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. 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.”

Hard to argue any of that.

Pop walks on water in San Antonio and that rant stopped just short of calling Zaza the dirtiest guy ever and the play in question some kind of Gillooly tire-iron job.

And believe me, if Pop said go threaten the man and his family, some of these losers would. And in fact, did, without even being told to.

Now to be sure, that’s not just a Spurs thing. That’s a loser thing. That’s not even a I love my team so much, it just got away from me temporarily thing. That’s a, I hate my life thing, and all I have is my team and we have no chance without our best player, so I think I’ll just take to social media and threaten the guy who I think is responsible for it. Oh, and his wife. And his kids.

I’m not blaming Pop. He didn’t tell the fans to threaten Pachulia and his family. He said it was a bad play, and there’s no place for it in the game. Maybe not. But I’ll tell what definitely has no place: losers who can’t watch sports without threatening an athlete and his family.

Hate to go Kevin Durant on you losers, but if you can’t do that, don’t watch. If you find yourself reaching for your phone to thumb out a threat to a man and his family or worse, time to take a big step back and figure where your life went so horribly wrong. I know you’re frustrated, but unless someone is threatening your life and the lives of those close to you, you have no business doing it to someone else. Especially over a game. Or a series,  you weren’t going to win anyway.


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