Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard withdrew from participating in the Olympics with Team USA basketball, and it brought up injury concerns for almost anyone, drawing some retirement recommendations from former player Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce.

“I think he's teetering and if this is something that's injury-related because leaving USA, well I think, and I'm just thinking about the player, he should honestly like see how this year goes and if he has to deal with another injury, Kawhi should start thinking about retirement,” Paul Pierce said on Undisputed. “I really do believe that. I really do. This is just for the guy's health. Think about how much, he's missed 44% of the games. Like that's your body telling you, like it's hard to get through an 82-game season. Like it's only so much a body can take, Skip. You really got to think about the long run for yourself, and this is not a knock on him, but you really gotta start thinking like you still a young man in society. Like, you don't want to be limping around, looking bad as a young man in society. So I'm just saying he gotta really start contemplating that if these things, if there's something else, if there's one more surgery it's like what gives you know?”

It is an interesting suggestion from Pierce, especially considering that Stephen A. Smith of ESPN has brought up the same idea in the past, and he received a lot of criticism for that comment, including directly on that show. Still, Kawhi Leonard has dealt with a lot of injuries in his career, hopefully sitting out of the Olympics will help keep him fresh going into next season with the Clippers, as they try to remain contenders in the Western Conference even though Paul George departed for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Kawhi Leonard trying to maximize later stages of his career

Leonard already has a great legacy as a player, he has two championship wins and two finals MVP awards, one with the San Antonio Spurs and one with the Toronto Raptors. He helped the Spurs beat the Miami Heat, and then he had an unbelievable year with the Raptors, helping them beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

That year with the Raptors will likely be viewed as Leonard's greatest accomplishment in his career from the outsiders. He decided that he wanted to join the Clippers the following season, bringing Paul George along with him. The upside of the team was very high, but the injuries to Leonard and others on the team limited what the Clippers could achieve in his years with the franchise.

It will be interesting to see how he fares with George out and James Harden coming back to the team this upcoming year. Obviously, the hope is that the Clippers will be able to have Leonard healthy for the majority of the season and be able to contend for an NBA title. Only time will tell as Leonard enters his age 33 season.