In the NBA, you have guys like LeBron and Kobe and Dwight Howard that you know are going to be coveted by every team in the league and play until they’re ready to retire. You also have the guys that hop from team to team, struggle to make the rosters and work their butts off just for a chance at a 10-day contract to show what they’re made of.
Gerald Green has always been the latter. Green was drafted 18th overall in the 2005 draft by the Boston Celtics straight out of high school, but has hopped from team to team since then. He spent some time in the D-League and overseas in Russia and China, unable to make a successful return to the NBA.
Green was called up by the New Jersey Nets for a pair of 10-day contracts. After he played well, he was offered a deal through the end of the season. He says he feels blessed to finally get the opportunity again. It’s been a long road back.
“The hardest thing in this league is to stay in,” said Green. “Not getting in, staying in—that’s the hardest part because you always got players coming in every year who’s very talented. They’re young, and they have a lot of potential and they have a lot of upside in their career and their game. A lot of times, organizations will make those Draft picks because of the future and potential that those young guys have. It’s tough for older guys getting to the league, and then they get out the league, and try to get back into it. It’s tough.”
Green went on to say that he doesn’t regret entering the draft so young. If he could go back and change anything, he would have been more of a “student of the game,” trying to use his brain to improve rather than his athletic ability. He stressed the importance of finding the right system for your talents and talked about the sacrifices he made playing in the D-League and overseas.
Gerald Green really has put in the work to make it back to where he is today. He serves as a nice reminder that not all NBA players are overpaid babies. There are those guys out there who are working as hard as they can just for the chance at success.