He was always on the bubble, but even with all the big man injury issues, it looks like Jeff Green won’t be making the final 12-man roster for Team USA.
Green didn’t play at all in today’s scrimmage against China and as Chris Sheridan of ESPN reported, didn’t make himself available to the media and also didn’t appear to feature his normally outgoing personality.
When Green was asked by Chris Tomasson of Fanhouse where he stood, he said, “Ask coach. I’m not the guy to answer that question.” Green also said that he’d be willing to travel to Turkey even if he’s not one of the final 12.
One underrated thing behind this is that this could be a nice kick in the pants for Green and extra motivation going into a pretty significant year for him. On a squad that is desperate for a big man and inside help, Green couldn’t make the cut. Now that’s saying something.
However, before everyone jumps on the gripe-about-Green train, keep in mind he was going against some of the very best players in the league. The fact Green was in contention and on the 15-man roster in New York is a pretty big deal. Team USA is going to play small so Green wasn’t really a fit because he wasn’t ever going to get minutes in front of Rudy Gay, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala or Lamar Odom.
One other interesting note from today’s scrimmage: Team USA won every quarter but lost the last one 17-16 as KD played in an experimental lineup with him at center. Team USA is going to have to make some adjustments because of the issues on the inside and some thought Durant might make a perfect center in a small ball lineup. Evidently today, it didn’t go that great. For the game though, KD scored 14 points total.