US basketball

Draymond Green suspensions reason for Team USA omission

Reuters

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Draymond Green suspensions reason for Team USA omission

BACK IN ACTION. Warriors forward Draymond Green (left) drives against Hawks center Clint Capela.

Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Team USA says the non-inclusion of Draymond Green in the Olympic roster may be better for the two-time gold medalist, who’s ‘working through some things both on and off the court’

USA Basketball will not have two-time gold medal winner Draymond Green in its player pool as it works on finalizing a roster for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Grant Hill, the executive director of USA Basketball, cited Green’s two suspensions this season with the Golden State Warriors as the reason for the defensive specialist’s absence when the 41-player pool was revealed Tuesday, January 23.

“His contributions have been significant, and he is a real part of the legacy of this organization for his excellence,” Hill told reporters Wednesday, January 24, via video conference call.

“But (because) 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.”

The first of Green’s two significant on-court incidents this season occurred November 14 when he put Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a headlock during a scuffle between the teams. The NBA suspended Green for five games for that incident.

On December 12 at Phoenix, Green landed a blow to the face of Suns center Jusuf Nurkic as the Warriors forward flailed his arms. The league gave Green an indefinite suspension that ultimately lasted 12 games before he was reinstated

Green missed an additional four games after he rejoined Warriors practices.

The list of players named to the Team USA player pool is a mix of NBA young and veteran stars:

Bam Adebayo, Jarrett Allen, Paolo Banchero, Desmond Bane, Scottie Barnes, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jaylen Brown, Jalen Brunson, Jimmy Butler, Alex Caruso, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Anthony Edwards, Joel Embiid, De’Aaron Fox, Paul George, Aaron Gordon, Tyrese Haliburton, James Harden, Josh Hart, Tyler Herro, Jrue Holiday, Chet Holmgren, Brandon Ingram, Kyrie Irving, Jaren Jackson Jr., LeBron James, Cam Johnson, Walker Kessler, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul, Bobby Portis, Austin Reaves, Duncan Robinson, Jayson Tatum, Derrick White and Trae Young.

Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, who said Green is a major part of the Warriors’ leadership core, is also the national team coach.

Green began counseling, per terms of his punishment, before the Warriors and commissioner Adam Silver deemed him fit to return.

“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.”

Warriors roll in emotional return to court

In his second game since missing 16 straight, Green contributed 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals as the Warriors honored the memory of Dejan Milojevic with a 134-112 romp over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, January 24, in San Francisco.

Jonathan Kuminga’s perfect night also capped the Warriors’ emotional win as the evening began with an on-court tribute to Milojevic, the former Hawks summer-league coach and three-year Warriors assistant who died on January 17 after having a heart attack at a Golden State team dinner the previous night in Salt Lake City.

Playing their first game in nine days after two postponements, the Warriors responded to the emotional pregame ceremony with a 38-point first quarter and rarely looked back while snapping a two-game losing streak.

Kuminga tied a franchise record by making all 11 of his shots in a 25-point performance.

Stephen Curry chipped in with 25 points for Golden State, and Klay Thompson added 24.

Dejounte Murray had 23 points and Jalen Johnson 21 for the Hawks, who dropped both games on a three-day Northern California swing without Trae Young, sidelined due to a concussion.

Kuminga’s 11-for-11 shooting night matched that of Chris Mullin at Miami on December 1, 1990.

Kuminga also found time for a team-high 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks for Golden State, which shot 56% overall and 48.5% (16-of-33) on three-point attempts.

Curry, whose 8 assists were a game high, shot 5-for-8 from three-point range and Thompson went 5-for-10 from deep for the Warriors. – Rappler.com

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