Kawhi Leonard’s past farewell to San Antonio Spurs does not prevent him from playing for Gregg Popovich at the Tokyo Olympics.
Leonard said he plans to play USA Basketball this summer before the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
The Tokyo tournament was originally scheduled for last summer, but was delayed by a year due to a coronavirus pandemic.
“Many people attended in 2020, but the pandemic alone killed almost everything,” said Leonard, a five-time All-Star at the Los Angeles Clippers. “Now my plan is to go.”
If Leonard is part of a roster of twelve, he will play for Spurs’ former coach Popovich for seven seasons.
Leonard experienced a nasty farewell to San Antonio and played only nine games in 2017-18 due to a quadriceps injury. Both teams sparred on the treatment of injuries, and Spurs players were very dissatisfied with Leonard’s rare presence around the team.
Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors after the season. After leading the Raptors to the NBA title, he joined the Clippers as a free agent in the off-season.
One of the potential issues could be the NBA’s schedule. Due to the late season, the playoffs will continue until July, with the possibility of Game 7 of the NBA Finals scheduled for July 22nd.
The opening ceremony is scheduled for the next day, and the first basketball tournament is scheduled for July 26th.
“It doesn’t matter how successful you are,” Leonard said, referring to the Clippers. “When I feel like it, I’ll play when I’m ready to go around.”
Leonard was named NBA Finals MVP when the Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in 2014. He also won the MVP honor when Toronto defeated the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 final.
Leonard has averaged 26.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 30 games this season.
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Kawhi Leonard wants to play in Olympics — for Gregg Popovich Source link Kawhi Leonard wants to play in Olympics — for Gregg Popovich