Kawhi Leonard Out Of Paris Games Replaced by Derrick White for US Team – Hollywood Life

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Image Credit: AP Images

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

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

“Kawhi has been ramping up for the Olympics over the past several weeks and had a few strong practices in Las Vegas,” a USA Basketball statement read. “He felt ready to compete. However, he respects that USA Basketball and the Clippers determined it’s 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, the USA Basketball accounts welcomed 30-year-old Derrick White with one post writing, “Derrick White joins the 🇺🇸 #USABMNT for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.”

For some time, the 33-year-old athlete has been struggling with knee inflammation during his regular season and was seen hobbling with his injured knee during L.A.’s first-round playoff loss to the eventual Western Conference-champion Dallas Mavericks.

Leonard said Tuesday that he was planning to play in Team USA’s first exhibition game Wednesday night against Team Canada but referred to his knee being in a “neutral” state. He also mentioned he’d been rehabbing the knee over the past two months and wasn’t sure whether he’d be able to play until two weeks ago, when he 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 Mens National Team walks on the court after a practice session during the teams training camp at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV on July 08 2024 in Las Vegas Nevada Photo by Ethan MillerGetty Images

The player, who is about to start a three-year, $150 million deal with the Clippers, hasn’t been able 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 all of the 2021-22 season with knee trouble.

In regards to the replacement, White was seemingly chosen over Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, who made second-team All-NBA this past season as one of the league’s top players.

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

While White was may have been chosen for his defensive prowess that contributed to the Celtics’ NBA Championship win, Jalen Brunson might have been a prime candidate. However, he is still recovering from a broken left hand sustained in Game 6 against the Pacers.

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