Draymond Green suspensions cited as reason for Team USA omission

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.

“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 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 Nov. 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 Dec. 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.”

Green, who has played only once — a loss Jan. 15 to the Memphis Grizzlies — since his indefinite suspension, was set to return to action when the Warriors play the Atlanta Hawks at home Wednesday.

The Warriors’ past two games were postponed after the death of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.