USA Basketball executive director Grant Hill said two-time gold medalist Draymond Green was left out of the player pool for this summer’s Paris Olympics because of his suspensions with the Golden State Warriors this season.
“His contributions have been significant, and he is a real part of the legacy of this organization for his excellence,” Hill said Wednesday in a Zoom call. “But I think just in lieu of sort of what’s transpired this year, we made a decision to not have [Green] on this list with this particular point in time with the process.”
Green not being a part of the provisional 41-man list for Team USA that was unveiled Tuesday was a surprise — not just because of the important role he can play in the international game as a versatile defender, but also because of the support he has long enjoyed from Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who is also the national team coach.
Green was suspended for five games in November for putting The Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a chokehold. In December, he was suspended indefinitely after landing a blow to the head of Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic.
Green missed 12 games before being reinstated and four more games while ramping up to return to play with the Warriors.
“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. “And so we at USA Basketball wanted to support him on his journey and we just didn’t feel that playing over the summer gives him the best opportunity to do what he needs to do.”
Green was a part of gold-medal-winning teams at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2021 Games in Tokyo.