Gerald Green eager to prove he belongs in the NBA

DARNELL MAYBERRY Published: July 3, 2009
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photo - Gerald Green, center, who played for Dallas last season, has played for four different coaches in his first four seasons in the NBA.  (Photo by Louis DeLuca, The Dallas Morning News)
Gerald Green, center, who played for Dallas last season, has played for four different coaches in his first four seasons in the NBA. (Photo by Louis DeLuca, The Dallas Morning News)
2 p
oints in 9.9 minutes.

Now, he’s looking for his next chance. But Green knows his reputation for having great character is superseded in coaching and GM circles by the tag of him not being a hard worker. It’s a label Green desperately wants to shed — so much so that he’s taken up boxing this summer as a form of conditioning to supplement the time he spends in the weight room and on the practice court.

"I always hear about how I’m a bust or I’m this or I’m that,” Green said. "I just want to prove everybody wrong. I’ve just really been trying to control my own part by being in the gym and becoming a better player. The more work you put in the better you get because of it.”

And Green insists he’s learned much throughout his NBA odyssey, taking something from players and coaches each step of the way.

Thanks to Doc Rivers, Green says he’s now aggressive and no longer the tentative teenager he entered the league as four seasons ago. Randy Wittman, he says, taught him to give it his all on every possession. Rick Adelman’s planning and preparation skills rubbed off during his brief stint in Houston. And because of Rick Carlisle, Green has slowed down on the court. He sees the floor better, has improved his shot selection and has reduced his turnovers.

Gym rats like Dirk Nowitzki and Yao Ming, Green said, taught him the value of hard work. And with the help of former Mavs assistant coach Mario Elie, now with Sacramento, Green said he’s blossoming into more than just an athlete and has developed a better understanding of fundamentals and basketball concepts. Elie has worked on Green’s footwork and got him studying more film during his free time.

When asked what areas of his game he’s seeking to improve this summer, Green responded, "Everything, but really I want to be that defender that I know I can be.”

It’s a desire that could raise some eyebrows in the defensive-minded Thunder’s front office.

"It was a lot to take in coming out of high school,” Green said. "But I think by playing and even sitting on the bench watching and looking at film I still learned. And as years have gone by I feel like I’m a lot more experienced and more mentally prepared for the game.”



A look at Gerald Green’s career production.

Season Team G Pts. Reb. Ast. Mpg
2005-06 BOS 32 5.2 1.3 0.6 11.7
2006-07 BOS 81 10.4 2.6 1.0 22.0
2007-08 MIN/HOU 30 5.1 2.1 1.0 12.1
2008-09 DAL 38 5.2 1.4 0.4 9.9

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