As Spurs fan Skip Bayless and members of the “I Hate Zaza Pachulia” online community went crazy after the almost All-Star and fishing buddy of Klay Thompson tried to move up the Spurs gone fishing dates by “unintentionally” injuring All-Star Kawhi Leonard, I was shocked to see more people didn’t bring up the first time he almost injured Leonard.
Back in February of 2016, during a scramble, Zaza “unintentionally” hooked Leonard’s arm and “unintentionally” pulled him to the ground. Seconds later, he threw an “unintentional” elbow at the head of David West, who might be the last guy in the NBA you want to throw bows with. Not satisfied with annoying two Spurs, in the following quarter, he almost kicked Danny Green in the face while diving for a loose ball. Also “unintentional.”
This game also came just weeks after Zaza picked up a flagrant foul for throwing an elbow and giving the Spurs’ Patty Mills some hip and fingers in the wrong place action.
I’m the first to complain about the league being Charmin soft but this isn’t throwback hustle and defense Charles Oakley and Xavier McDaniels would be proud of, this is GZA in ‘Protect Ya Neck’ dirty from a guy willing to trip you if you don’t help him up.
Haslem isn’t the most well liked guy in the league so nobody made a fuss about this 2012 incident. The same can’t be said when he dropped teammate KD’s former teammate Russell Westbrook and then stood over the MVP candidate like he was Muhammad Ali. I don’t think this was a dirty play at all but it’s a good example of why a “I hate Zaza” community exists and an excuse for one YouTuber to call him a “bootleg version of Vlade Divac.”
The fast-growing community picked up a few members in H-Town earlier this season after this altercation between the other MVP candidate and former teammate of KD, James Harden.
Speaking of Kevin Durant, not even teammates are safe from him. Earlier in the year, he hurt the former MVP’s knee when he fell into him.
Yes, Gortat did throw Zaza and this was 100% unintentional (I mean it this time) but I’m still going to blame Zaza for having luck as bad as his reputation. A rep KG hilariously talked about with Randy Moss during an amusing episode of ‘Area 21.’
“When we in the back and walking to the bus, that’s when you see if somebody really wants a problem. He can walk past you and I’m going to stop right here and see what it is. That’s going to tell me he don’t want no problems.”
And here’s what Coach Pop has to say about Zaza and his history.
“Who gives a damn what his intent was. You ever hear of manslaughter? You still go to jail. I think when your texting and end up killing somebody, but you might not have intended to do that.”