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Draymond Green

USA Basketball Men’s National Team Post-Practice Quotes

  • Date:
    Jul 20, 2016

Las Vegas, Nevada

USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University)
Is it a big benefit to have Draymond Green since he’s such a versatile player?
Draymond brings us as versatile a player, and as outstanding a player as you can have.  He – not just what he does physically – but in how he leads, his emotion – he brings the intangibles and the tangibles.  And so, the versatility – you can play him at a number of different spots.

His emotion at times has gotten him into a little bit of trouble. You wanted him to apologize to the team --
No, no – he wanted to apologize to the team. And he did. So, that’s it.

Not a lingering issue?
That you’re bringing it up. Nothing against you. Linger and us, our program, we don’t embrace linger.  I would rather have emotional people who sometimes make small mistakes than to have non-emotional people who are unwilling to put themselves in a position where they go to an extreme and there might be a mistake made. And, so, he’ll be fine. We’re happy to have him. 

What are your thoughts on Las Vegas?
Las Vegas has been great.  It’s a great sports town. People embrace sports.  Whenever the Lakers come here for an exhibition game or summer league, it’s great. We could not have it better. Having a relationship with the Wynn, with the sports commission here, with UNLV and the high schools – everybody has opened their arms to us.  And we’ve benefitted.  We want to continue – USA Basketball wants to continue that relationship going forward.  There’s no question about that. 

2017-20 USA National Team head coach Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs)
On Stanley Johnson and the rest of the USA Select Team:
It’s great for Stanley and for everybody else on the (USA) Select Team. It’s about them understanding the culture they’re in and understanding what’s going to be expected of them as they matriculate. They’re all good players, but that’s not the point. The point of them being here obviously is to prepare the Olympic team and help them, but also (to) understand what’s expected and to see how these guys conduct themselves, to see how focused they are and how committed they are. We have to find out in that group who fits that mold.

On being named as the next USA National Team head coach and the importance of being at training camp this year:
Probably because of the way things are set up, it’s not to waste time. Having done this now, I’m able to be here and learn from coach K and from Jerry Colangelo how things are done. Obviously they’ve done a great job for about a decade now. It would be ignorant on my part not to be able to glean everything I can from them. But to do that after the fact, like next September or October, or to wait until next summer, just wastes that time. This is like getting a leg up and getting a head start to understand how the program works.

Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
I’d love to hear what your impressions are, taking over a leadership role as a veteran here and what the goals are.
Obviously the goal is to win a gold medal.  Right now, it’s a process day by day.  We are just trying to enjoy the process, have fun with it.  Hopefully play against somebody else other than the Select Team.  I think we’ve got them for two more days before we go up against Argentina, which will be a good test for us.
 
What are your hopes Friday night (against Argentina) for what you guys want to accomplish?
We want to win.  We want to send a message.  Our first time that we can do that is Friday night.
 
Do you feel a sense of responsibility being one of the older guys here?
I think it’s my experience, what I bring to the game, not just USA Basketball but the game of basketball, period.  I think my colleagues respect me, my work ethic, the way I’m able to gather the guys when we’re out there and motivate them.

Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls)
How does it feel to be out here?
It feels good to be out here with some of the better players in the world, watching them compete, get better and making everybody around them better. It’s fun getting to know these guys, to tell you the truth.

How important are guys like Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant to this team?
Carmelo’s the key to this team, because he’s done it over and over again. So just the way that they work on their game afterward shows why they are where they are.

How much did that group of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and those guys change USA Basketball and help turn it into what it is now?
Those guys put USA back where it’s supposed to be. When you think about basketball, I think they changed the game for everybody. Just the way they approach the game, the way they approach practice, the way they approach workouts, and the fact that they want to compete against each other, because they know that since they were the best, they could only make each other better. I think that they started this and we just want to keep it up.

DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
How much do you think the success you had at the worlds in 2014 helped you?
It helped a lot.  Just to be able to gain that experience.  That’s my first time being able to do something like that.  I enjoyed it, I embraced it, just to be able to gain that experience, I’ve gotten used to it and I’m ready to do it again.

What are your impressions of the whole team so far during your first three days of practice?
I think we are extremely talented.  I think we have a great defensive group; we have potential to probably the best defensive groups of all time.  We just have to keep working.  I think we have a great chance.

Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)
On the impact of the 2008 team:
They set the foundation for us right now.  They turned this whole thing around.  We have to give them a lot of credit, we just followed the path that they left for us.  It’s not just the guys that is here, it’s the 2008 team, they kind of turned the culture of USA basketball around, so you have to give them a lot of credit.

On the military outreach programs established for USA Basketball:
Well, they are the real heroes.  They sacrifice their lives for us every single day, sacrifice for the whole country’s freedom.  We just want to go out there and play extremely hard and show that we are united as a group, united is everything our country is about.  And that’s what they do every single day, they just don’t play on ESPN, they are not on national TV, but they deserve a lot of credit.

On the TAPS program:
I think TAPS is a great program, there are so many cases where kids and their parents have sacrifice their lives for our country and TAPS is doing a great job in making sure those guys are taken care of, so I’m glad I’m part of it, and hopefully I can inspire and motive those kids to be whatever they want to be, no matter what.

On Las Vegas as a sports town, home of team USA during the summer:
I think this is just home for us, for USA Basketball.  It’s one of those things, when we come in here, we know that we are going to wear these three letters on our chest and we are going to fight for our country.  Every time I come here I think about playing for my country.  It’s a great feeling every time, having the Summer League here, and always having the USA camp here, it just shows that this town really loves the game of basketball.

On being reunited with Monty Williams during USA Basketball:
That’s my guy, man.  I learned so much from him in a short amount of time, and he’s probably easily one of the best people I know, and so it’s great to get on the court.  A great basketball mind though, someone who has taught me so much about the game, just the small details of the game, and it’s made me more of a professional by just being around him.  I’m grateful that I get the opportunity to work with him again.

On Jimmy Butler joining USA Basketball, being new to the program, and how he’s fitting in:
He’s been fitting in well.  Everyone brings a different skillset and that why they are picked here, and I think he brings a defensive mindset but also can make plays and be athletic.  And just an overall good guy, so when I see Jimmy here he’s just good people.

DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings)
How much do you think the success you had at the worlds in 2014 helped you?
It helped a lot.  Just to be able to gain that experience.  That’s my first time being able to do something like that.  I enjoyed it, I embraced it, just to be able to gain that experience, I’ve gotten used to it and I’m ready to do it again.

What are your impressions of the whole team so far during your first three days of practice?
I think we are extremely talented.  I think we have a great defensive group; we have potential to probably the best defensive groups of all time.  We just have to keep working.  I think we have a great chance.

Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)
On the impact of the 2008 team:
They set the foundation for us right now.  They turned this whole thing around.  We have to give them a lot of credit, we just followed the path that they left for us.  It’s not just the guys that is here, it’s the 2008 team, they kind of turned the culture of USA basketball around, so you have to give them a lot of credit.

On the military outreach programs established for USA Basketball:
Well, they are the real heroes.  They sacrifice their lives for us every single day, sacrifice for the whole country’s freedom.  We just want to go out there and play extremely hard and show that we are united as a group, united is everything our country is about.  And that’s what they do every single day, they just don’t play on ESPN, they are not on national TV, but they deserve a lot of credit.

On the TAPS program:
I think TAPS is a great program, there are so many cases where kids and their parents have sacrifice their lives for our country and TAPS is doing a great job in making sure those guys are taken care of, so I’m glad I’m part of it, and hopefully I can inspire and motive those kids to be whatever they want to be, no matter what.

On Las Vegas as a sports town, home of team USA during the summer:
I think this is just home for us, for USA Basketball.  It’s one of those things, when we come in here, we know that we are going to wear these three letters on our chest and we are going to fight for our country.  Every time I come here I think about playing for my country.  It’s a great feeling every time, having the Summer League here, and always having the USA camp here, it just shows that this town really loves the game of basketball.

On being reunited with Monty Williams during USA Basketball:
That’s my guy, man.  I learned so much from him in a short amount of time, and he’s probably easily one of the best people I know, and so it’s great to get on the court.  A great basketball mind though, someone who has taught me so much about the game, just the small details of the game, and it’s made me more of a professional by just being around him.  I’m grateful that I get the opportunity to work with him again.

On Jimmy Butler joining USA Basketball, being new to the program, and how he’s fitting in:
He’s been fitting in well.  Everyone brings a different skillset and that why they are picked here, and I think he brings a defensive mindset but also can make plays and be athletic.  And just an overall good guy, so when I see Jimmy here he’s just good people.

Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
Why is this training important?
Training this week is fun, because you get to get out here and get to know the guys, getting some cardio, getting to go up against the Select Team, and learning the offensive and defensive things that we want to put in. Training is the backbone of your success. You’ve gotta keep putting that work in no matter what happens.

What are some of this team’s biggest challenges?
I think our challenge is to make sure that we’re all on the same page. That’s the only problem that we could possibly have, not communicating. But, I think we will communicate very well.

Why are the exhibition games important?
For us, we have 12 guys who have never played all together as a cohesive unit. So, these exhibition games will mean a lot to us, because it’ll give us a chance to get a feel for each other, how we want to play starting off, being a dominant team and finishing games. Just learning each other in the process.

What does it mean for you to represent your country?
To represent my country means everything. It means USA, we’re all united. It’s just an amazing accomplishment to be here.

 

 

 

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