SAN FRANCISCO – Speaking to reporters for the first time since being omitted from the Team USA men’s basketball pool, Warriors forward Draymond Green said Monday he harbors no ill will or bad feelings about the situation and plans to root for the Americans when they play at the Paris 2024 Olympics this summer.
Team USA Basketball director Grant Hill recently stated that part of the reason Green was not considered for the roster was because of his on-court antics and two NBA suspensions that he has dealt with during the 2023-24 NBA season.
The way Green sees it, however, the depth and talent among players who were selected to the pool likely were the biggest determining factor.
“I would like to believe that there’s some guys in that pool that I’m just not as good as,” Green told reporters following practice Monday at Chase Center. “Didn’t quite think it would be so many great players in the pool because it just hasn’t been [that way] over the last couple of Olympic cycles. Then you look up and all of a sudden the ‘who’s who’ is there.
“I’m no idiot. You go with the who’s who and you figure it out.”
Green played a key role on the 2016 and 2020 USA Olympic teams that captured the gold medal but was noticeably missing from the pool of players who could be on the 2024 squad.
The four-time NBA champion wasn’t the only one who played four years ago to be left off the list this time around. The Portland Trail Blazers’ Jerami Grant, San Antonio Spurs’ Keldon Johnson, Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine, former Warrior and current Sacramento Kings backup center JaVale McGee and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton all played in the 2020 Olympics but were not invited back.
The list of players who are in the pool reads like a list of NBA All-Stars: Stephen Curry and Chris Paul from Golden State, along with Damian Lillard, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant, De’Aaron Fox, LeBron James, Kahwi Leonard, Bobby Portis and Jayson Tatum, all are being considered for the roster.
Green obviously was disappointed in not being selected but understood the process.
“I’ve played in two more Olympics than I thought I would play in, which means I’ve got two gold medals than I ever thought I’d have,” Green said. “I’ll be alright.”
Green said that being left off the roster and the buzz that it created was somewhat of a compliment in itself.
“To even be in the space of where it has to be mentioned that, ‘Hey he’s not on that list,’ … that says a lot to me about me,” Green said. “I don’t take that for granted at all. USAB has been great to me. To have the opportunities that I’ve had to compete in the Olympics and win gold medals, I wouldn’t trade those for nothing.
“Would it have been nice to play in a third Olympics? Absolutely. But I’m also not going to sit here and act like if all those same guys that’s on the list was on the list in 2016 that I would ever have the first opportunity. When it works in your favor, you take what comes with it, which is the good. Then when it don’t quite work in your favor you have to take the bad that comes with it as well. It is what it is.”
Being left off the team hasn’t diminished Green’s love or feelings for Team USA. His history with the national team won’t allow him to look at things from a negative perspective.
“No hard feelings my way,” Green said. “I’ll be rooting like hell for those guys because I am a part of the brotherhood. Regardless if I play in this Olympics or not, I’m still a part of that brotherhood and I’ll be rooting for them.”
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