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Kawhi Leonard Withdraws From Team USA Weeks Before Paris Olympics

Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard has withdrawn from Team USA less than three weeks before the Paris Olympics.

In a statement issued by USA Basketball Leonard “Respects that USA Basketball and the Clippers determined that 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”.

Following a season in which he averaged 23.7 points and 6.1 rebounds for LA, Leonard was expected to be a key piece of the American team which will be vying for its fifth straight Gold Medal.

Steve Kerr and Team USA will now be forced to find a last-minute replacement just 18 days before they take on Serbia in their first game of Olympic pool play in France.

According to multiple sources, Boston Celtics Derrick White will replace Leonard on the Olympic Team.

White averaged 15.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.2 assists while helping Boston to their first NBA title since 2009. The 6’4 guard is known for making gritty winning plays which can be huge when it comes to international basketball.

The tough news for USA Basketball comes on the morning of the Americans’ first exhibition game against Canada at 10:30 EST from Las Vegas. The last time the two teams met on the international stage was in the Bronze Medal game of the 2023 FIBA World Cup where the Canadians took down the US 127-118 in overtime.

Tonight’s game will be the first of five exhibition games the US will play before their Olympic opener.

Following tonight’s game in Vegas, the Americans will travel to Abu Dhabi where they will take on Australia and Serbia before finishing their exhibition slate in London where they will battle both South Sudan and Germany.

Once they finally get to Paris following their Olympic slate, Team USA will open the group stage against Serbia on July 28th, followed by games against South Sudan and Puerto Rico on July 31st and August 3rd respectively.

The semi-finals of the tournament take place on August 6th, before the semi-final on the 8th and the final on August 10th from Bercy Arena in Paris.


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