Kawhi Leonard out of Olympics, Derrick White in

The US Olympic basketball team (USBMNT) underwent major changes in the past 24 hours. It all began with forward Kawhi Leonard’s decision to withdraw due to his ongoing injuries, followed by the swift selection of a replacement who can effectively contribute to the team alongside other star players.

The 2023-2024 NBA season was a challenging one for Leonard, who started strong with the Los Angeles Clippers but was hindered by injuries in the playoffs, causing his team to lose in the first round to the Dallas Mavericks. His inclusion in the Olympic team was seen as a potential turning point in his career, but with less than two weeks until the Paris 2024 games, both the Olympic team and the Clippers’ management agreed to withdraw him from the roster to focus on his recovery for the upcoming season.

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In a statement, USA Basketball stated that Leonard had been preparing for the Olympics and had shown promising progress, but ultimately, it was decided that it was in his best interest to sit out and prepare for the new season. Although Leonard has not commented on the situation, he previously expressed that his journey with injuries has been unpredictable.

The vacant spot on the Olympic roster was quickly filled by Derrick White, the point guard for the Boston Celtics, who will now join the 12-player team in their quest for a fifth consecutive gold medal. White, who was a key player in Boston’s recent championship title, is expected to seamlessly fill the gap left by Leonard’s departure.

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