Monday, July 15, 2024

Kawhi Leonard opts out of Team USA for the upcoming Paris Olympics

Kawhi Leonard withdraws from Team USA’s Olympic basketball team for Paris Games

Kawhi Leonard Withdraws From Team USA Olympics Roster Due to Knee Concerns

In a surprising turn of events, Kawhi Leonard has decided to withdraw from Team USA’s basketball team for the upcoming Olympics in Paris, USA Basketball announced on Wednesday. The decision comes as Leonard and team staff felt that his chronic knee soreness and inflammation would limit his performance during the Olympic tournament.

Despite participating in every practice and scrimmage leading up to the Paris Games, Leonard, who played 68 games during the 2023-24 NBA regular season, recognized that his knee issues could prevent him from being at full strength on the international stage.

This news is a disappointment for fans who were eager to see Leonard showcase his talent on the global platform, especially after missing the entire 2021-22 NBA season due to a torn ACL and being limited to just two games in the 2023 playoffs because of a torn meniscus.

However, USA Basketball and the Los Angeles Clippers, Leonard’s NBA team, mutually agreed that it was best for him to focus on preparing for the upcoming season rather than risking further injury at the Olympics. Derrick White of the Boston Celtics will now fill Leonard’s spot on the roster.

Team USA will begin their pre-Olympic exhibition schedule on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, with games against Canada, Australia, Serbia, South Sudan, and Germany lined up before the Olympic group phase kicks off on July 28 in Lille, France. Despite Leonard’s absence, fans can still expect an exciting and competitive performance from the rest of the Team USA roster as they aim for gold in Paris.

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