LAS VEGAS – Josh Green’s sleep schedule has been a little off since arriving in the desert after a few weeks in Japan for the Olympics.
On the other hand, Vegas never sleeps. All right, except for one thing:
Green is only 20.
This is bad news if you are trying to enjoy all that Las Vegas has to offer, but excellent news if you have already played in the NBA, won an Olympic medal and shown the potential to make a bigger contribution for the coming seasons to accomplish the Mavericks.
Maybe sooner than later.
As Green got used to the jet setting lifestyle, he took time Thursday to talk about the Olympic experience and how he hopes to build on it in his sophomore season with the Mavericks.
But it was a struggle to return to American times less than a week after the medal podium in Tokyo with the Australian team that won bronze. That’s one of the reasons the 6-6 green doesn’t play for the Mavericks during the Summer League, which resumes for them on Saturday at 2 p.m. Dallas time against Denver (NBA TV).
“A good explanation would probably be the clock change,” said Green of things that went into the decision not to play in the MGM Resorts Summer League. “It’s pretty hard to adjust when you come back. Lately I’ve been going to bed around 8am and waking up at 4am. Today (Thursday) I was able to go to bed for the first time around 11 a.m. But I woke up at 3 a.m. “
Not that he’s complaining. Playing for Australia was a dream for Green.
“The Olympics are one of the things you can’t refuse to do,” said Green. “For me, it’s a lot bigger than just basketball. Growing up when I was 8 or 10 years old, I woke up at 4 a.m. every time the Australian team played sports and watched them. I even saw Joe Ingles when I was 10 when he first played for Australia. So it’s much more than just basketball. “
And be a medal winner?
“It’s something that still doesn’t feel real to me,” he said. “I was talking to my mom and all the emotions of my family last night when I told them I represent Australia, it cannot be put into words. Being around athletes that you watched as a kid and that you wanted to be is great. And that cannot be taken for granted.
“I think it’s great just to be in the whole environment of the Australian team. It helped my basketball and got me off the field. The Olympic Games, it’s just cool to be with the best athletes in the world and to be able to experience that at the age of 20. “
Along with the obvious hardware he and the Australian team won, Green came home with another souvenir from Tokyo.
In the video conference he held with media representatives, he showed the gold-colored Crocs that he wore whenever possible.
On the top of the shoe it says: GMO
“Just gold vibes,” said Green. “Everyone thought about gold. That’s why I wear the Crocs. And it’s something that I will continue. For me as a competitor, everything I do on the pitch is to win the game. “
And for Green, there is no doubt that the Olympic experience will pay off across the board for him.
The Mavericks used Green sparingly in his rookie season. But he had a few moments, especially one that caught Mark Cuban’s attention.
The owner vividly remembered how Green’s skills can help the Mavericks. During their May 4 visit to Miami, two of Green’s steals helped create the energy that would help the Mavericks make up a 44-35 deficit and take a 63-54 lead at halftime.
“It’s obviously up to J-Kidd,” Cuban said of how the Mavericks will use Green this season. But the thing about Josh is that he has an incredible flair for the ball. If there was a 50/50 ball rating, it would be at the top of the NBA.
“He single-handedly gave us the drive to win our game in Miami last year. If he can further improve his offensive, there are no limits. “
Incidentally, in this game Green had four points, four rebounds, three steals and three assists in 24 minutes. The Mavericks were plus 17 while he was on the floor.
It was one of the highlights of his rookie season when he averaged 2.6 points and 2 rebounds in 39 games (five starts). Obviously he’s looking for bigger things this season.
“Having been with some of the best shooters in the world – Joe and Patty (Mills) and Chris Golden – I competed against (them) every day,” Green said of the Olympic run. “I’ve learned so much. It helped me slow down and see the dish. I have a feeling it will help me a lot. The group we had was one of the most competitive guys I have ever come across.
“And apart from basketball, they were some of the greatest people I’ve ever met.”
Green wanted what Luka Dončić was looking for in Tokyo – a medal.
It was Green’s Australian team that won the bronze medal game over Slovenia and Dončić. And while the bronze medal was a huge achievement for the Australians, Green believes they are not done yet.
“That (a gold medal) is the goal that we will pursue every time we walk on the pitch,” he said. “To win this medal this year is of course the greatest achievement in Australian basketball history.
“But at the same time it’s a step for the younger guys in the team that we still have to be motivated to take. I am 20 years old and I have a medal in the Olympics. That is still not registered.
“Hopefully we can play against Luka in the final at some point.