Golden State Warriors big man Draymond Green paid respect to Devin Booker, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday for sticking up with their agreement. Less than 72 hours after the conclusion of the NBA Finaks, Booker, Middleton and Holiday got on the private jet and arrived to Tokyo.
Booker plays for the Phoenix Suns, while Middleton and Holiday play for the Milwaukee Bucks. Booker's Suns had a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals but the Bucks won the following four games to win the NBA title. "I have a lot of respect for those guys for not only committing to do this but actually keeping their word," Team USA forward Green said, per ESPN.
"You're talking about three true professionals, three extremely competitive guys that wouldn't be on their way here if this didn't mean something."
Green shows respect for the trio
Green acknowledged that Booker, Middleton and Holiday could have easily pull ouf ot the Olympics following the conclusion of the NBA Finals.
"We could've very easily got to the last game ... and Devin Booker saying, 'Man, we lost, I'm pissed off, I'm out,' or Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday saying, 'We just won a championship, I want to celebrate and stay home with my family, I'm out,'" Green said.
"It's on us to make sure that we do our parts to make sure they're rewarded with what they ultimately came here for, which is to help us to compete and win a gold medal." Booker, Middleton and Holiday arrived to Tokyo less than 24 hours before Team USA's first game.
"We obviously know they're in shape. They're tired. They just went through a roller coaster of emotion," Team USA guard Zach LaVine said. "I think they'll be ready to go, and we'll see what happens.
But as for the team, I think we need to be ready for everything. If they're not ready to go, then we have to go out there and perform still." Team USA lost two preseason games and they started their Tokyo Olympics campaign with a loss to France.
"As much as it sucks to lose, those two losses only helped us," Green said. "They didn't hurt us one bit. If anything, maybe you lost a little bit of the fear that we've had in people's hearts for years. Which you go out and do what you've got to do and you can get that right back."