Go Green: The Often Untold Story of Gerald Green 1
Remember how awesome Linsnaity was, Knicks fans? An unknown young bench-warmer comes out of the blue and plays big game after big game, helps New York gain some much needed victories, and then gets rewarded for his effort with a eyebrow-raising contract from a new team? The story is very familiar to Brooklyn Nets fans as well. Not because of Jeremy Lin, but because they had signed Gerald Green to a contract in the middle of last season, and boy did that work out for both parties.
Coming into the draft, Green impressed teams with his off-the-charts athleticism. In their draft bio of Green, ESPN said: “The top high school player in the country and one of the draft’s best athletes is still very raw, but once he learns how to play, watch out.” Once he learns how to play, watch out. I think we may have stumbled upon a psychic.
The Boston Celtics drafted Green (Kind of ironic, no?) with the 18th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. In his debut season, Green only played in only 32 NBA games, and just 11 minutes of game time in those games due to two demotions into the NBA D-League. The following season, Green’s role on the team became much more prevalent, but he didn’t play all too well with the opportunity he was given. With his minutes per game doubled, his scoring obviously increased, however his field goal percentage took a large dip. In his rookie season, Green shot 47% from the field with a 50% effective field goal percentage. His sophomore year saw those statistics drop to 41% and 48% with Gerald playing 81 games during the season. Yes his play was below expectations, but Green did not go unnoticed to the NBA fan. Gerald participated in All-Star Saturday night in 2007, winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in one of my favorite performances in the history of the event.
Boston made a splash that summer following the season, bringing in Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics, and giving up Gerald Green in a deal that also snatched them Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves. With Minnesota, Green was back playing the same minutes he did in his rookie campaign. His stats were nearly identical, other than his field goal percentage once again decreasing to awfully disappointing levels, 33% to be exact. Green made his return to the Slam Dunk Contest, once again putting on a show, but falling in the final round to Dwight Howard. Following his defeat in All-Star Weekend, the T-Wolves traded Green to the Houston Rockets for Kirk Snyder, a 2010 second round pick (#45-Paulo Prestes), and cash. In other words, nothing. The Rockets immediately waived Green after one game, but he was signed that Winter by the Dallas Mavericks to a one-year deal. After only playing in 38 games, and not showing any signs of improvement after four NBA seasons, Green left to play basketball overseas, and it seemed as if his dreams of establishing himself as an NBA player were dead and gone.
Gerald was signed by BC Krasnye Krylia, a Russian professional team, and later moved on to play in China for the Foshan Dralions a year later, where he was cut after failing “to fit into the tactic system of the whole team. The coach considered it again and again, and made this difficult decision in order to meet the team’s long-term needs.” Green averaged 26 points a night on 54% shooting in four games with the Dralions. Following the conclusion of the NBA lockout, Green was signed by the L.A. Lakers, only to be cut 8 days later. Repetitive story, huh?
Well this story has quite the twist to it. Every NBA fan that followed Green closely to this point believed it was all over. It’s been over half a decade of playing professional basketball for Green and he has yet to develop the skills to compliment his tremendous athleticism, and become the solid NBA players most thought he could be. But Green managed to get a spot on the Los Angeles D-Fenders, who were the Lakers D-League affiliate. After 22 games with the D-Fenders in which Green put up 19 points a night on 48% shooting, as well as a D-League All-Star Game MVP trophy, the (then) New Jersey Nets signed Gerald Green to a 10-day contract. Greensanity begins.
In his first 5 games with the Nets, which took up his 10-day contract, Green played well in his first two ball games. Gerald scored 10 points in 18 minutes on the road against the Mavs, and 11 points against the Celtics in Boston. His next two however, were not pretty. A combined 2-10 shooting in his next two games had Green only playing 8 minutes in his fifth contest. However, New Jersey’s front office evidently wanted to see more, so Green received his second 10-day contract, and one more crucial chance to prove his worth. In his next 5 games, Green averaged 16 points a night along with 4 rebounds, on 56% shooting from the field and 36% from downtown. Ths stretch included two 26-point outings from the rising Green, both of which coming in just 24 minutes of time.
You guessed it, the Nets signed him for the rest of the season. Gerald Green played for another 20 games, in which he: had a career-high 32 points with Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov in attendance, unleash a barrage of gravity-defying, scream-causing and breathtaking dunks that left those who witnessed these works of art shaking their heads in disbelief, and above all else, he made a name for himself, and finally showed off his immeasurable potential in this league. His final stats on the 2011-2012 NBA season? 12 points, 3 rebounds a night on 48% shooting from the field, 39% shooting from downtown, and 54% effective field goal percentage in 25 minutes per contest. Per-36 minutes a night, Green would have been putting up 18 points and 5 rebound a game. His PER was at a 15, which John Hollinger (inventor of the PER stat) set as the league average.
His deal being just a one-year signing, Gerald Green became an unrestricted free agent this Summer. With the Indiana Pacers backup shooting guard Dahntay Jones now 31 years old and entering his 10th NBA season, the Pacers front office were looking for a younger piece to add into their steadily improving roster. Gerald Green was that man. Green signed a 3-year, $10.5 million deal with Indiana, and he now finds himself with a role on a Playoff team that he will have the confidence to succeed in, and perhaps grow into the player everyone believes he can be. Go get it, and let Greensanity continue.
Latest posts by David Vertsberger (see all)
- Evan Turner Spreading his Wings - January 3, 2013
- Broooook-lyyyyyyyyn’s Head Coach Avery Johnson Fired - December 27, 2012
- Kendrick Perkins a Weakness for Oklahoma City - December 24, 2012