Olympic bas­ket­ball:

He’s ea­ger to play in Rio Olympics de­spite long sea­son, virus’ pres­ence

San Francisco Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - By Rusty Sim­mons

Dray­mond Green, left, en­joys be­ing se­lected to U.S. team. Fel­low War­riors Klay Thomp­son and Har­ri­son Barnes are also se­lected to play in Rio this sum­mer.

Dray­mond Green re­mem­bers soak­ing up the fi­nal mo­ments of the World Univer­sity Games in 2011, be­cause he thought that would be the last time he was ever se­lected to wear a U.S. jersey.

But five years later, Green will don the red, white and blue on the biggest stage as the War­riors’ power for­ward is on the 12-man ros­ter cho­sen for the U.S. Olympic team Mon­day.

“This is crazy,” Green said. “I’m ex­cited about it, just think­ing about the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent my coun­try in the way that I can.

“Ob­vi­ously, I never take for granted the way these sol­diers go out ev­ery day and put their lives on the line for our coun­try. But to be able to rep­re­sent our coun­try in the way that I can, it’s spe­cial.”

Green is one of three War­riors on the U.S. ros­ter, join­ing soon-to-be free-agent for­ward Har­ri­son Barnes and Klay Thomp­son. Stephen Curry, who played on the U.S. squads in 2010 and 2014, is spend­ing this sum­mer re­cov­er­ing from an­kle, knee and el­bow ail­ments.

Green is one of two sec­on­dround picks to make the team, join­ing Clip­pers cen­ter DeAn­dre Jor­dan. The rest of the ros­ter is filled with the more pre­dictable choices: Carmelo Anthony (New York), Jimmy But­ler (Chicago), DeMar­cus Cousins (Sacra­mento), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto), Kevin Du­rant (Oklahoma City), Paul Ge­orge (In­di­ana), Kyrie Irv­ing (Cleveland) and Kyle Lowry (Toronto).

“I’m anx­ious to get on the court, and along with my great coach­ing staff, get to work,” U.S. head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a news re­lease. “Look­ing at this team, our over­all bal­ance is what strikes me. We have light­ning-quick guards, who can score as well as dis­trib­ute the bas­ket­ball. We have great shoot­ers and ex­plo­sive scor­ers, we’re big

and ath­letic, and I think we’ll re­ally be able to de­fend.”

Green is among the best de­fend­ers, hav­ing fin­ished sec­ond in the De­fen­sive Player of the Year vot­ing in con­sec­u­tive sea­sons. He flew to New York for Mon­day’s ros­ter an­nounce­ment and will re­port to Las Ve­gas for the U.S. train­ing camp July 17.

Af­ter log­ging big min­utes in help­ing the War­riors to backto-back NBA Fi­nals ap­pear­ances, the 26-year-old said he’ll have decades to rest later. Even fears about the Zika virus didn’t cause much pause for Green when Team USA came call­ing.

“You think about it, but you just try to be as ed­u­cated as you can on it,” he said. “That’s kind of the ap­proach I’m tak­ing, do­ing what­ever I can to pre­vent it. But, I’m not pass­ing up on the op­por­tu­nity to play in the Olympics. …

“I’d love the op­por­tu­nity to play for a World Cup as well — but I don’t think it can get much big­ger than the Olympics. It def­i­nitely means a lot.”

Since play­ing in the 2011 World Univer­sity Games, Green helped prep the squad that won the FIBA World Cup in 2014 and was part of the 2015 Team USA Show­case last sum­mer.

“Those things were cool, just go­ing up against guys who were in tip-top shape and ready to go,” he said. “It al­lowed me to try out some things I had been work­ing on in the mid­dle of the sum­mer. You kind of see where you’re at and re­al­ize where you need to work on things.

“It also gives you the con­fi­dence, like ‘I can be one of these guys.’ ”

Now, he is one of those guys.

Coach­ing-staff up­date:

The War­riors are work­ing out a deal to hire Mike Brown as their lead as­sis­tant coach, ac­cord­ing to Ya­hoo Sports. Brown, 347-216 (.616) in three head-coach­ing stints, two with the Cleveland Cava­liers and one with the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers, will re­place Luke Wal­ton, who got the Lak­ers’ head­coach­ing gig.

Car­los Avila Gon­za­lez / The Chron­i­cle

Mary Altaffer / As­so­ci­ated Press

The U.S. men’s Olympic bas­ket­ball team poses in New York. From left: Demar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Paul Ge­orge, Kyrie Irv­ing, DeAn­dre Jor­dan, Jimmy But­ler, Kevin Du­rant, Har­ri­son Barnes, DeMar­cus Cousins, Dray­mond Green, Carmelo Anthony and Klay Thomp­son.

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