Kawhi Leonard Won’t Play for Team USA at 2024 Paris Olympics

Los Angeles Clippers' forward Kawhi Leonard in 2019.
Los Angeles Clippers' forward Kawhi Leonard in 2019. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI/Shutterstock (12595233i)

The Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard won’t play for Team USA Basketball at the 2024 Paris Olympics despite taking part in Las Vegas training camp for the past several days. He will be replaced by Boston Celtics’ Derrick White.

According to a statement shared by USA Basketball, Leonard felt he was ready to compete at the Olympics despite missing the end of the regular season and most of the playoffs due to right knee inflammation. However, the Team USA officials and Clippers brass ended up making a decision that he is better off using his time to prepare for the upcoming NBA season.

“I want to thank Kawhi for his commitment to the USA Men’s National Team. He earned the opportunity to represent the United States, but the USA Basketball and Clippers leadership felt it was important to allow Kawhi to prepare for the NBA season,” said USA Basketball managing director Grant Hill in a statement.

White will make his return to the Team USA for the first time since the 2019 World Cup. He is coming off a stellar season that saw him average 15.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.2 assists while helping the Celtics win an NBA title.

“I am happy to announce that Derrick will compete at his first Olympic Games on the heels of a championship season in Boston,” Hill added.

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