Every Topic Every Day

Derrick White to Replace Kawhi Leonard on Team USA Olympic Roster

It has been confirmed that Boston Celtics guard Derrick White will replace Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard for the upcoming Paris Olympics. This change comes after Leonard, who has been grappling with knee issues, decided to withdraw from the team.

Kawhi Leonard, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and one of the most formidable defenders in the league, had been a crucial part of the Team USA setup. Despite participating in practices and scrimmages in Las Vegas, Leonard and the Clippers ultimately decided that it was in his best interest to focus on preparing for the upcoming NBA season rather than competing in the Olympics.

“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 in a 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.”

Leonard’s decision is largely attributed to the chronic knee inflammation he has been dealing with. This knee trouble sidelined him for much of the Clippers’ playoff run, raising concerns about his ability to perform at his best during the high-intensity Olympic games.

Derrick White, who was part of the 2019 FIBA World Cup team, will now join his Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday on the 12-man Olympic roster. White has had an impressive season, contributing significantly to the Celtics’ first NBA championship since 2008. He averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game, earning a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive second team for the second consecutive year.

White’s inclusion in the team underscores his versatility and defensive prowess, which will be vital for Team USA’s campaign. His familiarity with head coach Steve Kerr’s system and his chemistry with Tatum and Holiday are expected to benefit the team greatly. White’s ability to play both ends of the floor and his unselfish playing style make him an ideal fit for the star-studded Team USA roster.

With the addition of White, Team USA now features three members from the reigning NBA champions, the Boston Celtics. This trio’s defensive capabilities and teamwork will be crucial as the team aims for its fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal.

While Leonard’s absence is a significant loss, the presence of other NBA superstars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant ensures that Team USA remains a formidable contender. Durant, who is currently sidelined with calf soreness, is expected to rejoin the team soon and bolster their chances in Paris.

Team USA’s exhibition schedule continues with games against Australia and Serbia in Abu Dhabi, followed by matchups against South Sudan and Germany in London. These games will serve as crucial preparation for the Olympics, where the team is set to face Serbia in their first group game on July 28, followed by games against South Sudan and Puerto Rico.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More