Draymond steadily growing his brand thru Team USA, The Shop, TNT

An inside look at his Olympics decision

(Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

Draymond Green was officially added to USA Basketball’s final roster of twelve players today. With Stephen Curry passing on Team USA last week, you might wonder why Green would throw himself into regimented COVID testing (which he often complained about during this past NBA season), limited fan attendance and no ability to mingle with other athletes, and all of this while being away from his family for more than a month.

I spoke with a few people in his circle and the general consensus was that winning a another gold medal for USA would not only boost his brand but also help him stay in shape going into the 2021-22 NBA season.

When USA Basketball training camp kicks off on July 6th, being credentialed with Team USA since 2010, we should have access to Green’s Zoom calls as media attendance will be limited and only the big NBA outlets will be allowed on-site (ESPN, Yahoo, TheAthletic, NBC, et. al.).

So far during this off-season, we’ve seen Draymond fill in on TNT — and maintain his presence by tweeting a lot when he wasn’t there — during the NBA Playoffs. Just recently, he was on the latest episode of HBO’s The Shop sports talk series. Here are some timestamps from this episode, which featured Tom Brady, Kid Cudi, and Chelsea Handler, where Draymond chimed in:

  • 3:40 last two titles weren’t as fun 

  • 7:38 confidence in career, mom’s influence

  • 10:00 NBA vs NFL injuries

  • 12:15 on criticism, being able to tell who’s stupid, would be a “fucking idiot” for not getting Steph the ball (“Draymond you should shoot”)

  • 17:45 on sports media: throw a microphone in my face when you know I’m pissed off, can’t say “fuck you”

  • 20:45 different persona on-court

  • 21:45 can’t sleep til 6am after a game

Green didn’t talk all that much, relatively speaking, with most of the attention going to the headliner guests Brady and Kid Cudi, of course. The Shop provides an interesting and fun environment to have your favorite athletes and celebrities on, but largely I think it’s just a place where they can feel more comfortable, dig in just a tad deeper into topics, and say the “F” word to no abandon.

You can learn a lot more about Green from just listening to his Q&As on our YouTube channel, for example. Sure enough, the most recent one on our playlist has him saying he was “fucking exhausted” from the loss to the Lakers in the first play-in game:

So as I like to allude to with the “information vs entertainment” scale, The Shop is probably about 60/40 informational.

Btw, a friendly reminder: The above has been on our Discord server for a few days now. If you want all the content for DubNation as it comes, such as the latest and greatest on the whereabouts of each player as accumulated in the previous post, download the Discord app on your smartphone and signup for access through our Patreon site which automatically hooks into Discord, for as low as $1/mo.

When we turn on subscriptions on this site, the Patreon will turn off and everything including Discord access will be $5/mo. This will probably occur by the NBA Draft (July 29th).

Here are some notes and quotes on the Team USA decision from my talks with Draymond’s people — none of whom, btw, actually talked to Green about his decision, but who likely know him better than most people, even those in the media:

  • Building the “resume: TV, gold medal, Tokyo (Olympics brand)”, “it just makes sense from an all-around standpoint.”

  • It will “help him for next season…he’s 31 right now and who knows where he will be at next go-round of the Olympics.”

  • Aside from “TNT, Converse, etc.,” “a way to just stay in shape…It’s a big year next season.”

  • To “represent his country and continue to build his legacy.”

Draymond is one of only three non-wing big men on Team USA (Bam Adebayo and Kevin Love being the other two), and under head coach Gregg Popovich and assistant Steve Kerr, who are likely to implement a ball-movement system, Green’s skillset could be a critical component to USA’s success at Tokyo 2021.

So don’t be surprised if you see Green utilized more than he was at Rio 2016, when he won his first gold medal, but mostly rode the bench under Coach K (Mike Kryzyzewksi) and his defensive pressure philosophy.