During his first media session on the first day of his first contract year, Jeff Green assured he wouldn't allow business matters to cloud his basketball mind.
Yet there was a potentially more telling tidbit buried in the third-year Thunder forward's answer to what fans can expect to see from him this season.
Green will begin his fourth NBA training camp today without the same long-term financial security that the franchise gift-wrapped for fellow 2007 draftee Kevin Durant in July. If a deal is not reached by Oct. 31, Green will become a restricted free agent next summer, with the Thunder owning the right to match any offer to retain his services.
At the team's media day on Monday, Green maintained a positive public opinion on the matter.
"I was hoping that it would get done," Green said. "But it's none of my concern. I have a great agent, and we have a great front office. Those are the two sides that are going to talk. My focus right now is to get prepared the best I can for this season."
When asked whether he's put any pressure on himself to prove his worth through his performance this season Green responded, "not at all."
"I'm going to go in and play my game," Green said. "I'm not going to try to go out and play above what I can do. I know what I can do and I'm going to go out and do it. This contract situation is something that's on the back burner for me. I know what I have to do this season. My goal is to try to do the best I can to help the Thunder and the organization win as many games as possible and hopefully try to win a championship."
In responding to the question of what type of player he'll be this season, Green sounded as driven as he's ever been. It was difficult to discern, however, whether the source of Green's motivation stems from his desire to secure a better contract or simply to be a better player. But Green replied by saying he will be "more assertive" and "more consistent."
"My focus is going to be off the charts," Green said.
Green skirted around answering how close the two sides are to a deal. But he made it clear that he hasn't taken the talks personally, even after witnessing Durant ink his maximum allowable five-year deal worth approximately $87 million more than two months ago.
"That's very accurate," Green insisted. "It's not personal at all."