Warriors Star Gushes Over Bam Adebayo’s Talent on Team USA

Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green

Getty Bam Adebayo (L) and Draymond Green of the United States talk during warmups before an exhibition game against Nigeria ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Even though Bam Adebayo is the second-youngest player on Team USA Basketball competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the soon-to-be 24-year-old center is teaching a few new things to his new teammate Draymond Green.

Green, 31, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, couldn’t help but gush about the up-and-coming defensive star. Green, who has three NBA Championship rings and a gold medal from the 2016 Olympics, admits he sees “similarities” between him and Adebayo.

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The 2017 Defensive Player of the Year spoke to the media about what it’s like playing alongside the Heat star, “Obviously, the way he reads the floor, the way he sees the game, it’s incredible. He’s an extremely good passer and uses other guys to his advantage.”

While one would think Adebayo would be taking lessons from the veteran center as they train for the Olympics, Green said it’s the opposite.

He was actually teaching me the other day how to be more effective with the fake dribble hand-off and was giving me a couple tips with that, which was incredible… I’ve watched him some since Kentucky and obviously through his four years with the Heat and his growth has been amazing. He’s a lot more athletic than I could ever imagine being, but I definitely see some similarities there. It’s great to have him on this team and be teammates as a guy I can learn from as he can learn from me.

Adebayo Admires Green’s Leadership Skills

Draymond Green team. usa

GettyDraymond Green #14 of the United States is introduced before an exhibition game against Nigeria at Michelob ULTRA Arena ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It appears that both Adebayo and Green are learning from one another as they train for the Olympics. The Kentuck alum, who was called out for not being more aggressive in his gameplay this past season, says he admires Green’s leadership on the court.

“That’s the one thing that makes Draymond Draymond… is how vocal he is and how much a leader he can be without scoring or putting the ball in the basket,” Adebayo said. “He’ll have a game where he’ll have one point, but have 16 rebounds and like 17 assists.

“Just trying to figure out how to be that impactful and knowing that I have the ability to score, it’s just going to help me along the way.”

Gregg Popovich Says Green & Adebayo are ‘Really Important’ for Team USA

Team USA

GettyHead coach Gregg Popovich (L), Kevin Love #11, Draymond Green #14, Damian Lillard #6 and Kevin Durant #7 of the 2021 USA Basketball Men’s National Team practice at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV as the team gets ready for the Tokyo Olympics on July 7, 2021.

Despite a less than stellar performance during the playoffs, Adebayo was still dominant during the regular season, averaging 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.2 steals.

Adebayo is already proving to be a dominant big man on the Men’s Olympic Team. During Team USA’s 108-80 win over Argentina, Adebayo scored 12 points, with five rebounds and five assists in just over 18 minutes of play. Green scored eight points with three assists and two rebounds in just under 18 minutes of action.

Team USA’s coach Gregg Popovich is thrilled to have such versatile, defensive stars on his squad. “They were very active, got everybody involved, and that’s something that’s really important for us,” Popovich said, as reported by Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman. “Those are the kind of talents that they have, that fits best with our shooters, providing that sort of situation where shooters can get open shots.”

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