Gerald Green’s love for the game of basketball remains unwavering

Gerald Green pushed aside his teammate, Marvin Smith, to create space between his defender. Smith’s choice of Chaundee Brown Jr. was enough for Green to lean back his opponent to convert a 20-second two-hand dunk in the Rio Grande Valley Vipers’ road race against the South Bay Lakers.

Green’s dunk was the first of his 20-point outing, en route to the Vipers’ 130-121 loss to the Lakers at the UCLA Health Training Center on Jan. 13.

The Vipers’ loss to the Lakers marked their second game of the G-League restart after a 10-day suspension due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But for Green, the game marked his return to basketball after a nearly three-year hiatus from the game he loved. It was a void in his life that caused several restless nights during the sultry summer days in Houston.

The image of the 12-year NBA veteran soaring through the air — lifting a Vipers jersey — was a far cry from the black Houston Rockets coaching warm-ups Green wore for the first three months of the 2022 NBA season. .

“It’s a great opportunity to play again. I haven’t played for almost three years. I’m blessed to have this opportunity to get back on the track. It feels great to be back.” – Vegetable

Before joining the Vipers with a desire to make a comeback in the NBA, Green announced that he was retiring to join the Rockets coaching staff as a player development coach. Green made the switch to a full-time coach in October and stated he was happy with his decision.

But as he sat next to Rafael Stone, Houston’s general manager, Green’s love and desire for basketball remained like a look in his eyes. It was the same affection his players displayed when Green sometimes served as a reserve during the Rockets’ training sessions.

Failing to nurture his fixation on the game, Green found his place as a coach, leading to him becoming a reliable voice on the sidelines for Stephen Silas. According to the Rockets sophomore coach, Silas said Green had an unparalleled heartbeat on the team and that he relied on the former pro for his knowledge during timeouts and his ability to connect with players.

But since swapping his clipboard for a pair of black Nikes, one of Green’s goals has been to translate the lessons he learned as a leader under Silas’s leadership to the Rio Grande Valley. For Green, he believes he has a lot to offer the younger players of the Vipers in addition to his skills on the floor.

How to mentally prepare for a game is one of the many lessons Green can pass on to his new teammates — a skill he picked up while working with Silas for nearly two months.

“If you decide you want to coach, you have to be ready. You have to make sure that all basketball [as a player] is off. When boys were training on the ground, he was there with them. The most important thing for him is to be happy. And he’s happiest when he’s hooping. He will be missed.

“I try to do things in a way that makes sense and to have a structure that people can learn from. It means a lot to him to learn so much about game preparation in those two months.” — Silas

Green averaged 22 points in the three games played for the Vipers, showing flashes of the player that made him a reliable rotation element during the Rockets’ 2018 – 2019 championship battle amid the second. half of the James Harden era.

At 35, the Houston native is wreaking havoc in the NBA’s minor league with his score, similar to his days for the Los Angeles D-Fenders during the 2012 G-League season.

Green averaged 19.1 points on 48.0 percent shooting from the field, 45.8 percent from behind the arch, becoming a G-League All-Star in the making. His production on the field landed him a contract with the New Jersey Nets, where he averaged 12.9 points in the final 31 games of the 2012 NBA season.

Ten years later, Green hopes to recreate the same trance that led to an eight-year NBA run after a horrific slowdown in his professional career that started in 2005 from Gulf Shores Academy in Houston.

But whether on the floor for the Rockets, Vipers or any other professional basketball team, Green has proven that his love and production on the court will never waver.

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