Team USA’s Kawhi Leonard withdraws from Olympics

Team USA forward Kawhi Leonard will not compete in the Paris Olympics, USA Basketball announced Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Clippers star withdrew in order to spend the summer preparing for the 2024-25 NBA season.

“Kawhi has been ramping up for the Olympics over the past several weeks and had a few strong practices in Las Vegas,” USA Basketball said. “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.”

It would have been the Summer Games debut for Leonard, 33, who missed 12 of the Clippers’ final 14 games last season due to inflammation in his right knee.

USA Basketball has not named a replacement for Leonard on the 12-man roster. The Americans’ opening game is on July 28 against Serbia.

A two-time NBA champion, six-time All-Star and seven-time All-Defensive team selection, Leonard’s 68 starts in the 2023-24 season were his most since 2016-17. He missed all of 2021-22 with an ACL injury.

Leonard has career averages of 20.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 696 games (667 starts) with the San Antonio Spurs (2011-18), Toronto Raptors (2018-19) and Clippers.

–Field Level Media