Draymond Green Missing From Initial Team USA Olympic Pool, Execs Explain Why

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors waves to the crowd after he was presented with his Olympic gold medal before their game against the Denver Nuggets at Chase Center on October 06, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Grant Hill, executive director of USA Basketball, pointed to Green's on-court antics.

Draymond Green was the most notable name missing from the initial 41-player pool for the Team USA Men's Basketball Olympic Roster. The exclusion of Green, who won gold in 2016 and 2020, was surprising given that his club head coach, Steve Kerr, is also the national team coach. However, USA Basketball executive director explained that it was Green's on-court antics keeping him out of contention at the moment. "His contributions have been significant, and he is a real part of the legacy of this organization for his excellence. 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," Hill said in a media Zoom call.

Green will be able to play his way into the roster over the next few months. The team isn't expected to be picked up May at the earliest. Meanwhile, the rest of the list is a veritable list of bona fide NBA talent. LeBron, Steph Curry, Jayson Tatum, and Joel Embiid all appear on the list. However, there is also a cache of younger stars like Walker Kessler, Chet Holgrem, and Tyrese Haliburton.

Dwight Howard Wants Olympic Shot

One name also missing, though much less surprisingly, is Dwight Howard. Howard is currently out of basketball after leaving Taiwan and failing to sign with an NBA team. However, the former NBA starter made it clear last year that he was an Olympic shot. "I like what I see 💪🏾but don’t leave ya boy out🤔. If ya leave me out I’m playing with Taiwan and I’m dropping 85 😅#nba #basketball #legends," Howard wrote last year. There's just one problem with this - Taiwan can't qualify for the Olympics. Taiwan is not one of the 24 remaining teams that will compete for one of the four remaining Olympic spots this July.

However, Howard does plenty of international experience. In the late 2000s, Howard was a go-to pick for the national team. He won a gold medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 as well as a World Cup bronze in 2006. Despite this, his time out of the NBA as well as his ongoing legal issues mean that there is very little chance that Howard will be headed to Paris.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.