One of the intriguing names left out of USA Basketball’s 2024 Olympic player pool was Draymond Green, but managing director Grant Hill explained one reason why that happened.
Green has been a part of the last two USA Olympic teams, both of which won gold medals in 2016 and 2021.
However, his NBA suspensions this year has become a factor USA Basketball clearly can’t overlook.
“His contributions have been significant, and he is a real part of the legacy of this organization for his excellence,” Hill told reporters on Wednesday. “But in lieu [sic] of what’s transpired this year, we made a decision to not have him on this list.”
Green has been suspended twice this 2023-24 campaign, including an indefinite suspension following an incident with Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic. It led to 12 games suspended before the NBA reinstated him.
WARRIORS’ DRAYMOND GREEN SAYS HE APPRECIATED THE NBA MAKING HIS SUSPENSION ‘INDEFINITE’
Prior to that, Green’s infamous chokehold on Minnesota Timberwolves big man Rudy Gobert led the Warriors to keep him sidelined five games before coming back into the fold.
Green has played just 16 of the Warriors’ 40 games this season as a result of his suspensions.
“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 explained. “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.”
Steve Kerr, Green’s head coach with the Warriors, remains the leader on the coaching staff for USA Basketball as well, so he lent his thoughts into the decision.
The current player pool includes tons of NBA stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Joel Embiid and more in the 41-player group. A 12-man roster is all that can be made, though.
Hill says he hopes to get that 12-man squad set in stone during the NBA playoffs.
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