After Kawhi injury, Zaza fights back against critics: 'That's really stupid'

After Kawhi injury, Zaza fights back against critics: 'That's really stupid'

OAKLAND -- Despite the guilty verdict issued by many social-media judges, Warriors center Zaza Pachulia proclaimed innocence for his part in a play Sunday that forced Spurs star Kawhi Leonard out of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

With 7:55 left in the third quarter, Pachulia switched out to defend Leonard who launched a 3-point shot from in front of the San Antonio bench. Pachulia continued moving forward while Leonard was airborne, an action that resulted in Leonard landing on Pachulia’s left foot and aggravating a sprained left ankle.

“I just did what I was supposed to do and challenged his shot,” Pachulia said. “And I turned around and there was a call. I didn’t notice that he was down until I turned back. I didn’t see what happened there.”

Referee Marc Davis whistled a foul on Pachulia. Leonard made a pair of free throws, after which he left the game for good.

There was immediate and incessant reaction on social media, where Spurs fans and others blamed Pachulia for purposely trying to injury Leonard.

Asked if it was intentional, Leonard said he didn’t think so.

“He was contesting a shot,” he said. “The shot clock was coming down and . . . I’ll have to see the play.”

Pachulia had harsh words for those who believed he was trying to hurt Leonard.

“That’s really stupid,” he said.

“I don’t think I should be making (any) comment,” he added. “I’m not that good to be doing intentional stuff like that. I did my part. I had to challenge the shot. It was a handoff situation and I saw that my teammate was behind the screen. I had to challenge the shot. That’s what I did. And I turned around for the rebound and that was it.

“I hate anybody going down like that with an injury. I’m an athlete, too, so I know how it feels. I wish it’s nothing serious for him because we are colleagues at the end of the day. So we’re going to move on.”

Conor McGregor works out in throwback Warriors J-Rich jersey

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YouTube

Conor McGregor works out in throwback Warriors J-Rich jersey

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are set to square off in the ring on Aug. 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for one of the biggest fights of all time.

To get ready for one of the most hyped up sporting events in years, McGregor needed a little motivation from the 'We Believe' Warriors to come out victorious in an upset.

In a YouTube video showing the highlights of McGregor during his world tour promoting the fight with Mayweather, McGregor rocked a throwback Jason Richardson Warriors jersey. You can see McGregor in the jersey at the 45-seconds mark.

Richardson averaged 18.3 points and 5.4 rebounds over six seasons with the Warriors. 

McGregor (21-3 in the UFC) is looking to give Mayweather (49-0) the first loss of his career.

Report: Lakers have shown interest in former Warriors guard

Report: Lakers have shown interest in former Warriors guard

Ian Clark is looking for his next basketball home.

And the Lakers have shown interest in the free agent guard, according to The Los Angeles Times' Brad Turner.

Over 77 regular season games with the Warriors last season, Clark averaged 6.8 points while shooting just under 49 percent from the field and over 37 percent from deep.

In 16 playoff games (he did not play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals), he averaged 6.8 points on 50.6 percent shooting overall, and 36 percent from 3-point territory.

Last week, he was asked if he would be back with the Warriors in 2017-18.

"It's not looking like it," Clark said while in Memphis. "Going through that situation right now. As much as I want to stay, it's a business. But we'll see. Anything could happen."

The Warriors do have an open roster spot, but it's quite possible they enter training camp and/or the season with just 14 players under contract.

Golden State can only offer Clark the minimum of $1,577,230.

The Lakers could give Clark up to $4.3 million -- the room mid-level exception.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller