Draymond Green was noticeably absent from USA Basketball’s 41-player pool for the upcoming Olympics and USA Basketball executive director Grant Hill has explained why.
The two-time gold medallist’s recent misconduct this season played a part in his omission from the pool, Hill acknowledged.
“His contributions have been significant, and he is a real part of the legacy of this organization for his excellence,” Hill told reporters Wednesday via 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.”
In November, Green was suspended for five games for a chokehold he pulled on Wolves big man Rudy Gobert, which he then followed up with an indefinite suspension for striking Suns center Jusuf Nurkic.
He was reinstated in early January after missing 12 games, but has only participated in a total of 16 games this season.
“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. “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.”
Other veteran All-Stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis and Chris Paul were included in the pool.
The team is expected to rely heavily on it’s veterans since Team USA didn’t make the 2023 FIBA World Cup Final.
Green, Durant, James and Paul are the only active players that have multiple Olympic gold medals.
Green was a part of Team USA’s last two Olympic conquests, winning gold at the 2016 and 2020 games.