Draymond Green is disappointed to be left off the 41-player pool from which the 12-man U.S. Olympic team is expected to be named, but the two-time gold medalist is ready to step in if asked to be added to the pool later on.
“If I got a call because some guys drop off that list that’s just unforeseen for whatever reasons, and then I need to fill a spot on that team, guess what?” he said in a video published Monday. “I’ll be ready with my bags packed and go play in a third Olympics because I’m not too big to be (a) second (choice).”
Green, one of two U.S. men to play in the last two Olympics along with Kevin Durant, was left out of the pool that was chosen by national team managing director Grant Hill.
Players can be added or dropped from the pool between now and when the roster is named, likely in April or May.
Two weeks ago, Green returned to Warriors game action for the first time in a month after an NBA suspension for “repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts” that was at first indefinite and ended up lasting 12 games.
“We all understand and certainly have great respect and sensitivity to this particular period in his career, and he’s working through some things both on and off the court,” Hill said last week. “So we at USA Basketball, we want to support him on his journey. We just didn’t feel that playing over the summer gives him the best opportunity to do what he needs to do.
“His contributions have been significant, and he is a real part of the legacy of this organization for his excellence, but in lieu of what’s transpired this year, we made a decision to not have him on this list.”
Green said he remains “very thankful” to USA Basketball for getting to play in two Olympics. While in college at Michigan State, he didn’t think he’d ever be asked to play for the senior national team.
“When I look at the names on that (player pool) list, I probably wouldn’t have made that team anyway unless it was from a standpoint of he’s been on the last two Olympics and sacrificed during the time when other guys wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice,” Green said. “The suspensions kind of gave them (USA Basketball) an out so you don’t have to face that, and I’m totally fine with that. As you know, I’m a man. I stand on my mistakes and things I’ve done wrong.”