Stephen A. Smith ‘Pissed’ About Kawhi Leonard Olympics Drama

Kawhi

It looks as though Clippers star Kawhi Leonard may not ever get to play in the Olympics after he withdrew from Team USA and Stephen A. Smith called it.

Before Kawhi withdrew, Smith was questioning why he was even on Team USA to start with, given his concerning injury history.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more pissed off at a dude wearing Team USA uniform,” Smith said The OG’s podcast. “Remember how excited he was when they came to him and Grant Hill and them put him on Team USA? Do you know how many games you’ve missed?

“To be talking about playing in the summer, you might get hurt from the flight to Paris. I’m not letting you play. If I’m Steve Ballmer, I will use every means at my disposal to make sure this man ain’t on Team USA. For one reason and one reason only, I don’t trust that you’re going to leave healthy.

“I promise you, you tell me right now, if I said to you, if I said you UD, M&M you got to bet me your check that this man going to play this summer and he going to be healthy for the season. None of y’all are taking that bet.”

Leonard played in just two 2023-24 postseason games for LAC due to knee inflammation.

In a statement released Wednesday, USA Basketball implied that Leonard’s decision was influenced by the Clippers and Team USA officials watching Kawhi in camp over the past few days, but mentioned nothing about injury.

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“Kawhi has been ramping up for the Olympics over the last several weeks and had a few strong practices in Las Vegas. He felt ready to compete,” USA Basketball said. “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.”

Recent Boston champion Derrick White will replace Kawhi on the team.

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