Kawhi Leonard withdraws from Team USA amid health concerns

Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard is withdrawing from the Paris Olympics, it was announced Wednesday. 

Team USA has been training on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus and is scheduled to face Team Canada for an exhibition game Wednesday night. 

"Kawhi has been ramping up for the Olympics over the past several weeks and had a few strong practices in Las Vegas," Team USA said in a released statement. "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."

He'll be replaced by Derrick White, joining fellow Celtics Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday. 

Leonard, who just celebrated his 33rd birthday, has battled numerous knee injuries throughout his career. 

The six-time All-Star missed the final eight games of the 2023-24 regular season due to inflammation in his right knee. He missed the first game of the playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks and was then cleared for Game 2. However, it was clear he wasn't fully healthy and did not return for the rest of the series. 

The Clippers put up a good fight, but without their best player on the floor, the Clippers were eliminated in six games. 

Clipper fans were robbed of seeing a healthy Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the playoffs for the majority of their time together. Earlier this month, George decided to depart the Clippers and agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. 


The Clippers begin a new chapter at the Intuit Dome next season and hope to do so with a healthy Leonard. 

SUGGESTED COVERAGE: Kawhi Leonard signs massive $153M contract extension with LA Clippers

The two-time NBA Finals MVP signed a massive three-year contract extension in January.