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Why didn’t the Olympic basketball team call up Kyrie Irving to replace Kawhi Leonard?




The announcement of Kawhi Leonard’s withdrawal from Team USA for the 2024 Olympics left many fans speculating about his potential replacement. Among the names floated, Kyrie Irving stood out as a high-profile candidate. However, the decision to call up Derrick White instead raised several questions.

Derrick White’s recent performance with the Boston Celtics was nothing short of spectacular. His contributions were instrumental in their championship run, showcasing his defensive skills and versatility.

White’s ability to adapt to different roles and his consistent form made him an attractive option for the national team. In contrast, while Kyrie Irving remains one of the most talented guards in the NBA, his season was marred by injuries and off-court issues, which may have influenced the decision.

The issues of past hunting Kyrie’s Irving’s options at Team USA

Kyrie’s year has been a good one, with few controversies, but his past, filled with injuries that left him playing seasons with less than 50 games, is not the best thing to have on your CV when trying to make it to the best team in the world. In addition to his injuries, the antics outside of the court have put him in an unstable column.

Team chemistry is crucial in international comPetitions, where players have limited time to gel. Derrick White’s previous experience with USA Basketball, including his participation in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, gave him an edge. His familiarity with the coaching staff and the international style of play meant he could integrate more seamlessly into the team. Kyrie Irving, despite his undeniable talent, has had a more tumultuous relationship with team dynamics in recent years.

Kawhi Leonard’s withdrawal was primarily due to ongoing injury management. Similarly, Kyrie Irving has had his share of injuries, which might have raised concerns about his availability and fitness for the rigorous Olympic schedule. The selection committee likely prioritized a player who could be relied upon to stay Healthy and contribute consistently throughout the tournament.