HoopsHype Gerald Green rumors

November 18, 2014 Updates
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Green's mother had four kids but had to stop working because her second-oldest, Gerald, frequently was up to no good. He was not a delinquent, but the restless energy and active mouth that make him amiable today were trouble then. He ran his mouth to students and teachers. He ran southeast Houston's streets, chasing dogs, hopping fences, playing midnight basketball and tackle football on concrete. "I wasn't a menace to society, but I was active and I was bad," Green said. Arizona Republic

He was wearing his mother's class ring. When he slapped the door ledge, the ring got caught on a nailhead and ripped off the skin and tendons above his right ring finger's lower knuckle. "I was hanging on the nail for a split second," Green said. "Have you seen 'Terminator 2' when he cut off his hand and you see nothing but the inside? That's how it was. It was nothing but white bone." Arizona Republic

Green's father, a firefighter, made the decision during surgery to have the finger removed above the lower knuckle because the lack of feeling or movement in it could affect him in sports. "I was devastated," Green said. "I think about it every day. I didn't cry when it happened. I cried after I woke up from surgery and saw that my finger was gone. I was looking at my hand, going, 'Where the hell is my finger at?' " Arizona Republic

The finger nub became the source of fights because of his sensitivity about it and his dad's advice to always hit back. He said he would not even discuss it until three years ago when he realized he could inspire people with his story, one in which that was just the first hurdle. Arizona Republic

Green was cut again as a sophomore but was added to the sophomore team after the death of a player who collapsed on the court due to a heart defect. He moved to junior varsity before the season was over and varsity as a junior before transferring to Gulf Shores Academy to repeat his junior season. The strip-mall school no longer exists. Green said college recruiters would not even come to the campus, where he said he saw students with guns and drugs, pregnant girls fighting and a student cut on the face with a razor. "It was not a place you woke up wanting to go," Green said. Arizona Republic

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While in Boston, Green was expected to make an immediate splash, but he clashed with coach Doc Rivers, who gave the high school product strong suggestions about how to play the game and carry himself. Those lessons did not always translate well. “Yeah, he was [tough on me], but if I knew then what I know now, the things that Doc was telling me were all the right things,” Green said. “He wasn’t telling me nothing that was incorrect. All Doc was trying to do was help me and I just didn’t understand the fact . . . I just didn’t know how to be a pro. When you’re coming from a situation where you’re the man and shooting 20 shots a game — in high school, I could sub myself in. I went from that to getting sent down to the D-League. It’s tough for a young kid to go through it. Boston Globe

“I was going from a very poor kid to paying all the bills. So, it was a big difference from all angles. I just didn’t know how to handle it. I wish I could turn back the hands of time but I kind of don’t because it wouldn’t have made me into what I am today.” Green remembers the disappointments during his Boston years and had a message for Suns general manager Ryan McDonough, who acquired him from Indiana and was the assistant GM in Boston during his tenure there. “I feel like I let him down the first time,” Green said of McDonough. “I didn’t want to do it again.” Boston Globe

March 1, 2014 Updates

After playing 60 games for Indiana last season and 31 for New Jersey the season before that, he is hopeful he has found a new home with the Suns and rookie coach Jeff Hornacek, to whom he credits his success. “It speaks to just believing in yourself, never giving up on yourself and obviously sticking with an organization that finally believed in me,” Green said. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“I always wondered would I ever be back in the league. I didn’t know. I knew if ever had the opportunity, I wanted to be as ready as possible. “I still have a long way to go. I haven’t done nothing in this league, nothing. Even right now, I haven’t done nothing in this league. I’m still trying to find ways to get better.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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Green faces the Indiana team that traded him away on Wednesday night. Playing a team that recently gave up on him would be a bigger deal if he had not already done this five times in his career. Green played 18 minutes per game in 60 appearances last season for Indiana but shot only 37 percent overall and wound up out of the rotation during most of the conference semifinals and conference finals. “I was not mad at all,” Green said. “Obviously, I wanted to play. This second time around, I’m more of a professional. I understand if I play or if I don’t play. I was on a winning team last year. I was fine if I was giving people water. Now, I’m here and I’m glad to be here. I don’t want to ever go anywhere.” Arizona Republic

January 17, 2014 Updates

Green came out of high school with a remarkable athleticism and a tantalizingly smooth jumper. He was a mostly good-natured but naive kid, a skinny baller from Houston’s southeast side. His dunks soon became the stuff of legend. Still, Green was incapable of thinking the game beyond a playground level, oblivious to the pressures and demands of the NBA world. “I always treated basketball when I was younger like a hobby, something I loved to do, something that kind of kept me away from doing something bad or doing something crazy,” Green told NBA.com during a phone conversation on the team’s recent road trip. ”It was an extracurricular activity in my life. But once I did it for a living, I still kept treating it as a hobby instead of a job.” NBA.com

Green credits Eric Musselman, coach of the D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders during the 2011-12 season, for his NBA return. Musselman asked Green to play for him with the D-Fenders, the Lakers’ D-League affiliate, for a pittance of what he would earn going back overseas. “And thank God for Eric Musselman,” Green said. “He just really had all the confidence in me in the world. He put me in situations to succeed and he was a great coach for me, a great guy, a guy that I will always be friends with.” Musselman couldn’t believe it when Green told him that he wanted no part of the dunk contest at the D-League’s All-Star festivities that year. “I remember sitting in our staff meeting and I said, ‘I can’t believe this guy is willing to just sit in his hotel room while the dunk contest is going on in front of NBA people,’ ” said Musselman, now associate head coach at Arizona State. “But that’s how much that athleticism, that dunking label kind of wore at him.” NBA.com

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