Sunday, July 21, 2024

Kawhi Leonard Out Of Paris Games Replaced By Derrick White For Team USA – Hollywood Life

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Kawhi Leonard will not officially play in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Officials announced the update on the 2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team today and posted the decision on social media. Regarding the Los Angeles Clippers star and Team USA forward, the post explained:

“Kawhi has been preparing for the Olympics over the past several weeks and had some solid practices in Las Vegas,” a statement from USA Basketball read. “He felt ready to compete. However, he respects that USA Basketball and the Clippers have determined that it is in his best interest to spend the remainder of the summer preparing for the upcoming season rather than participating in the Olympic Games in Paris.”

Shortly after, USA Basketball’s accounts welcomed the 30-year-old player. Derrick Blanco with a post that writes: “Derrick White joins the 🇺🇸 #USABMNT for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

The 33-year-old has been battling knee inflammation during the regular season for some time and was seen limping around on his injured knee during Los Angeles’ first-round playoff loss to the eventual Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks.

Leonard said Tuesday that he planned to play in Team USA’s first exhibition game Wednesday night against Team Canada, but referred to his knee as being in a “neutral” state. He also mentioned that he had been rehabbing his knee for the past two months and wasn’t sure he would be able to play until two weeks ago, when it showed improvement.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 08: Kawhi Leonard #8 of the 2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team walks on the court after a practice session during the team’s training camp at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV on July 08, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 08: Kawhi Leonard #8 of the 2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team walks on the court after a practice session during the team’s training camp at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV on July 08, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The player, who is about to enter a three-year, $150 million contract with the Clippers, has been unable to finish the past two postseasons because of right knee injuries. Overall, the two-time NBA champion and six-time All-NBA player has missed 256 regular-season games over the past seven years, including the entire 2021-22 season because of knee issues.

As far as a replacement goes, White was apparently chosen over the Knicks point guard. Jalen Brunsonwho made the All-NBA Second Team last season as one of the league’s best players.

White averaged 15.2 points per game on 39.6 percent from 3-point range and the same 6.8 attempts per game.

While White may have been chosen for his defensive prowess that contributed to the Celtics’ NBA Championship win, Jalen Brunson could have been the front-runner. However, he is still recovering from a fractured left hand he suffered in Game 6 against the Pacers.

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