HoopsHype.com Interviews

Gerald Green: "I never thought I would be in this situation"
by Keith Calkins / June 27, 2005

You’ve crisscrossed the country the last two weeks working out for teams lusting at the top of the draft board. Take us inside those sessions.

Gerald Green: They put you through a lot of ballhandling drills, a lot of shooting drills to test your athleticism. They push you really hard to see if you can hold up.

What more than anything else were you determined to prove to these teams during the individual workouts?

GG: That I was mentally tough. The knock on me is that I’m not a real hard worker and I just wanted to prove to the teams I am a hard worker and mentally tough and can push through things.

So did you prove what you wanted to?

GG: I think I did. Some workouts I got more tired than others. I still pushed through it. I never quit a workout. And after the workouts were done, I knew I did my best.

Andrew Vye (Gerald Green's agent): I think Gerald’s done a fabulous job. We worked for everybody 3-10 as the draft board stands right now, except for the Warriors who are stacked at Gerald’s position. And we’ve done all this in about two weeks. The workouts were actually the easiest part. Only 50 minutes. Then there are all the interviews, the dinners, the travel that would wear on anyone – much less a high school student.

As far as workouts themselves, Gerald shot the ball exceptionally well. He can shoot with great range. He showed a willingness to work. He tested out extremely well on the vertical leap and the quickness. And he runs with anybody. I’ve gotten incredible feedback from the teams.

Anyone interviewing for any job wants to make the best possible first impression possible. What was your game plan to make the most of these opportunities?

GG: Just go in there and be myself. Don’t try to be somebody I’m not. And they're going to like me for being the person I am.

AV: One thing you have to know about Gerald, he’s a people person. A lot of agents will go with the team interviews with the player. I felt after spending three months with Gerald and around his family that he didn’t need me. I thought it would be more effective for him to sit with decision-makers, the general managers, the owners without me. They would learn a lot more about Gerald with the agent not there. That showed tremendous confidence in a 19-year-old that I allowed him to do it by himself. And he has impressed a lot of people in this two-week swing.

Any player selected in the top 10, top five or top three will have the pressure and expectation to produce and contribute something right away. Gerald, to what degree can you live up to the billing in the first few seasons?

GG: Wherever I go I know, I will work my butt off, work so hard it’s not even funny. I will try my best and that’s all I can do. Give it my all and be confident the rest will take care of itself.

AV: Even if a team with a tremendous need at the two guard drafts Gerald, they are not looking for him to be tremendously effective that first year. The general managers I’ve talked with are looking for him to learn, to play NBA defense, to work with teammates in transition, to rotate at both ends of the court. What I’ve been told by almost every GM is if they pick Gerald, they will sign a veteran free agent as a mentor to bring Gerald along.

Gerald, this is a dream come true for you. Hundreds of thousands of kids coast to coast wish they could be you right now. In these last hours before the draft and you are away from the scouts and the suits and the media, when you are alone with your family and friends, what’s going through your mind?

GG: This is a dram come true, that I’m in this spot. I never thought it would happen. I remember being at home as a kid, playing with my friends, messing around with dogs and riding bikes, falling off, busting my head open. Back then, I never thought I would be in this situation. Never. And it’s just dream for me and I’m just thankful to have the opportunity. I’m just trying to stay focused and relax and not get nervous. This is huge step me. I just can’t wait for Tuesday.

Keith Calkins is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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