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View Full Version : Jeff Green; His Actual "BFF" in the Organization



Baller1
10-18-2010, 01:09 AM
I have a feeling this will get moved to the Thunder forum, but I thought it was a really interesting read so I wanted to share it. So I'm going to post it here, and I'll leave it up to the mods as to whether or not they want to leave it in here.

As for the article, I think Jeff Green is a pretty underrated player in the league. So my question is, what is the consensus around the league on Jeff Green? Is he underrated, or is he just "another player"?

Just want some outside feedback from other fans please.


While Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jeff Green continues to be a polarizing player throughout many circles, it's interesting that those closest to him – his teammates, his head coach, the team's executives – have nothing but the utmost respect for his contributions to the team and for his outstanding character.

Rodney Dangerfield, anyone? Perhaps those outside the organization will always look for increasing numbers on a stat sheet to measure a player's value; as for those inside, Green's on-court versatility, leadership and intelligence are just a few attributes highly appreciated by this team.

Fortunately, Uncle Jeff (his awesome nickname) shakes off any criticism, confidently sharing that his focus will be "off the charts" this year. When he was cut from Team USA over the summer, bitterness didn't creep in. Quite the opposite, in fact. He walked away feeling blessed by the opportunity, vowing to parlay the experience into motivation to keep improving his game.

He waves off any discussion of his expiring contract, now eligible for extension, by simply responding that he had hoped to secure an extension over the summer, but has left the matter between his agent and the Thunder's front office.

One would think that the head coach may watch Green very closely in this all-important expiring contract year. Surely he aims to step up his game this season to prove his worth, right?

"It hasn't even crossed my mind," answered Coach Scott Brooks. "There's no doubt that some players I've played with, or that I coached, that is the agenda. But Jeff….that hasn't even crossed my mind."

Case closed….at least as far as these two are willing to concede.

The topic that Brooks and Green do discuss is their close personal relationship, a fact that isn't particularly well known. Ask Brooks why Green is so important to this team (while many have him penciled in as expendable), and he answers directly.

"He does a lot for us," Brooks said prior to the first preseason game tip-off at home in front of Oklahoma City fans. "We love Jeff...we love Jeff. I love Jeff."

"There's no doubt that I have a special bond with all the guys, but Jeff…," he continued, his voice trailing off a bit. "I like him. I like what he's about. I like what he does for us. He sacrifices, and he has to do that."

"I like what he does for us," he repeated, with emphasis.

"We're real close," Green told HOOPSWORLD of Brooks. "That's because he was an assistant, and he was the guy that worked me out before games and before practice and after practice, so we had a special bond before he became head coach."

Let's back up a bit.

Brooks, the quintessential players' coach, played in the league for 10 seasons with six different teams from 1988-89 to 1997-98. He even has a ring from the 1994 Houston Rockets championship title. After leaving the NBA, Brooks coached in the ABA for a couple years; he then landed as George Karl's assistant coach in Denver from 2003-06, followed by a stint as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings during the 2006-07 season.
Initially, Brooks was interviewed for the franchise's head coach position (which ultimately went to P.J. Carlisemo), but he impressed executive vice-president and general manager Sam Presti so much that he was hired as an assistant in August 2007.

In his first year with the Thunder franchise, Brooks was assigned to work with then-rookie Green, the fifth overall draft pick (actually acquired on draft day by trade with the Celtics). They forged a closeness during that season, and now, two years later as Green embarks on his fourth year in the league, Brooks explains why this playing-for-a-contract thing isn't Green's style.

"Maybe because I know him, who he was when he came into the league," said Brooks. "And he hasn't changed."

"He's a pro," Brooks added. "He's a pro and he likes to be on this team. He's still works every day in practice. He still tries to get better; he still tries to make the right play."

Green credits the relationship for directly impacting his performance.

"He's part of the reason my game expanded," shared Green. "He knows most the stuff I can do because we've been together so long."

Recently, former teammate Etan Thomas penned an article giving thanks to many for the Thunder experience. He also shared his views on Jeff Green.

"Allow me to speak from first-hand experience, from someone who has actually seen what goes on behind closed doors and has been in the trenches with the team for an entire season," began Thomas.
"(Jeff) Green, in my opinion, is underappreciated and is an integral part of the Thunder success. He doesn't complain about shots, or touches, or lack of accolades or praise. He just goes out there and does his job. He is too quick for most power forwards and too strong for most small forwards."

Then Thomas got down to the nitty gritty about what makes the former Hoya star special in the NBA, with a clever nod to his own alma mater.

"After completing his years at a great system at Georgetown University (although he could've also been great if he attended Syracuse) his game really blossomed, which happens a lot when players make the transition from Georgetown to the NBA. They play in a system, and learn the fundamentals, teamwork and how to play within the confines of structure. It usually proves to be more than beneficial to their growth as players."

On this rising Thunder team, it's easy to heap praises solely on the stand-out players. Praise doesn't come so easily to the glue-guy-types like Green. As we know though, a couple exceptional players can't do it alone. And this team is nothing if not true to its pledge to collective growth. The teamwork approach is what they see as key for success.

"We have some good players on our team and not everyone can be the leading scorer; not everyone can be the high-assist man," Brooks explains. "Some guys have to sacrifice. We all do. I mean Kevin (Durant) sacrifices, but Jeff is a teammate that guys like because they know that he brings effort every night. He's consistent, and he doesn't change, and he doesn't change his habits."

"When I was an assistant, that was my guy," the NBA's reigning Coach of the Year says affectionately about Green. "I worked him out every day. (I worked to) get him better every day."

"He's my guy," Green told us in the locker room about Brooks after the preseason win over Moscow.

Obviously there's mutual admiration going on here.

"Yeah, we try to keep it a secret; we don't want anyone to know," he added with a smile.

The secret is officially out, Uncle Jeff.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=17621

Rego247
10-18-2010, 01:22 AM
thats good to know i guess. green doesnt get a lot praise, but i hope he has a good year this year.

Lloyd Christmas
10-18-2010, 01:24 AM
I like the guy, but I don't see him as an all star type player. Just a good all around player. I like him as a 3rd or 4th option on a team.

Chronz
10-18-2010, 01:24 AM
Good story but I hate when they talk about sacrificing for the good of the team. So your telling me a team as mediocre as Oklahoma was offensively couldnt have used the additional scoring boost? I get that people arent going to admit their players just arent that good, but stop blaming it on stats. Jeff Green isnt missing all these shots cuz hes sacrificing, unless by that they mean hes not good enough to be carrying the offense, in which case most players in the league sacrifice, its because they arent good enough not because they are being held back.

To be honest with you hes not overrated or anything because nobody talks about him, but for the position he plays (stretch-4) hes not good. Hes expanded his game for sure, but when is his offense going to click? Still hes a solid glue guy that Id love on my bench, as a starter meh...

Baller1
10-18-2010, 01:33 AM
Good story but I hate when they talk about sacrificing for the good of the team. So your telling me a team as mediocre as Oklahoma was offensively couldnt have used the additional scoring boost? I get that people arent going to admit their players just arent that good, but stop blaming it on stats. Jeff Green isnt missing all these shots cuz hes sacrificing, unless by that they mean hes not good enough to be carrying the offense, in which case most players in the league sacrifice, its because they arent good enough not because they are being held back.

To be honest with you hes not overrated or anything because nobody talks about him, but for the position he plays (stretch-4) hes not good. Hes expanded his game for sure, but when is his offense going to click? Still hes a solid glue guy that Id love on my bench, as a starter meh...

That's what we've been talking about in the Thunder forum. Basically it's this:

Do we start Sefalosha and Green as we have been, or do we substitute those two for Harden and Ibaka? It would keep the scoring threat off the bench in Green, and allow Sefalosha to stay fresh when having to guard the star players.

John Walls Era
10-18-2010, 01:35 AM
Hes a very good role player. Borderline AS for sure.

Hoopsadvocate
10-18-2010, 01:39 AM
didnt bother reading all that lol but to answer your question. I like him i dont think hes to underrated. Hes not an allstar but an abover average role player. Kinda like a poor mans LaMarcus Aldridge. Could probably make a western conference all star team in the future though (especially when duncans gone and nowitzki is getting older and the lack of other really good pfs in the west).

Ebbs
10-18-2010, 01:46 AM
Could def still become an all star caliber player.

Chronz
10-18-2010, 01:50 AM
That's what we've been talking about in the Thunder forum. Basically it's this:

Do we start Sefalosha and Green as we have been, or do we substitute those two for Harden and Ibaka? It would keep the scoring threat off the bench in Green, and allow Sefalosha to stay fresh when having to guard the star players.

Yea I dont know how long you can keep Harden on the bench, I love guys who can get to the rack and hit 3's but his defense was dreadful, atleast in the games Ive seen. Im sure he got better as the season progressed being a rookie and all so if hes even a mediocre defender by now, Id start him. Still against the Lakers and other star studded teams, Id start Thabo (Ive loved him since his chicago days but hes never improved his O)

Dont know about Ibaka, are you guys still starting Krystic or is Cole taking that spot?

GoatMilk
10-18-2010, 01:54 AM
i actually dont like him at all. i think he's an ok role player and thats it
i dont think he'll be an all-star
actually, i like him, but im not crazy about him. love him as a role player

he's a Shane Battier caliber player IMO. very good role player
(not the way they play, but type of player)

Baller1
10-18-2010, 01:55 AM
Yea I dont know how long you can keep Harden on the bench, I love guys who can get to the rack and hit 3's but his defense was dreadful, atleast in the games Ive seen. Im sure he got better as the season progressed being a rookie and all so if hes even a mediocre defender by now, Id start him. Still against the Lakers and other star studded teams, Id start Thabo (Ive loved him since his chicago days but hes never improved his O)

Dont know about Ibaka, are you guys still starting Krystic or is Cole taking that spot?

Word is that Harden has vastly improved his defense. Unfortunately, between school and work, I've only been able to catch one half of a Thunder game this preseason so I can't attest to this or not.

I doubt it will happen, but as you said, I want Harden to be the starter against teams without star wingmen. As for teams like the Lakers, Heat, Blazers, etc., I would want Sefalosha to get the start.

Ibaka is a much better fit as the starting 4 man for this team, but Green is that glue guy that every team wants. Stripping him of his starting spot would only jeopardize that, which makes the situation so tough. As for Aldrich, he's not going to be the starter to start the season. Right now Collison is hurt so Aldrich and Mullens have been able to get more time in there, but from the look of it Aldrich is not ready at all to be a starting NBA center. He fouled out in 9 minutes the other night...

_KB24_
10-18-2010, 02:16 AM
From the games I've seen him play, still stick to my original stance that he should have never been picked 5th overall. Not comparing their games or skillset, but Green will be a poor man's Jamaal Mashburn at the very best.

KobeOwnSU
10-18-2010, 02:39 AM
didnt bother reading all that lol but to answer your question. I like him i dont think hes to underrated. Hes not an allstar but an abover average role player. Kinda like a poor mans LaMarcus Aldridge. Could probably make a western conference all star team in the future though (especially when duncans gone and nowitzki is getting older and the lack of other really good pfs in the west).

Lack of good PF's in the west?? What are you smokin? Have you ever heard of Pau Gasol. He's the best PF in the game. And he happens to play in the west...Hell, i would take Paul Millsap on the all star team over jeff green.

PHX2daDEATH
10-18-2010, 03:05 AM
As my Suns' have a murky future ive taken a lot of interest in watching teams like Memphis and Oklahoma City..young teams who I feel are going to dominate the conference in a few years. I think this season a lot of questions will be answered about Green, is he the perfect third option behind Durant and Westbrook? My thoughts have been that he needs to get Karl Malone ripped (6'9 , 235lbs wont cut it.. even LA is up to 260 this year) to play PF in the west and develop a low-post game and that could still happen because he's not even over 25 yet. I think if he got stronger he would definately rebound a lot better. Scoring 15-16 points a game where on some nights he's a distant 3rd option is pretty good, I think if you put him on a team like Minnesota or a few other teams he would become the scoring leader of that team. I was actually hoping the Suns would get him on draft night even if meant giving up Marion. I Think he has the potential to average over twenty a game once he gets stronger and more aggressive, he's a potential all-star imo and i would not bring him off the bench..

Baller1
10-19-2010, 12:58 AM
Lack of good PF's in the west?? What are you smokin? Have you ever heard of Pau Gasol. He's the best PF in the game. And he happens to play in the west...Hell, i would take Paul Millsap on the all star team over jeff green.

One great PF should prove the point right there...

The league is seriously lacking big men these days.

WolvesJagsOs
10-19-2010, 01:27 AM
didnt bother reading all that lol but to answer your question. I like him i dont think hes to underrated. Hes not an allstar but an abover average role player. Kinda like a poor mans LaMarcus Aldridge. Could probably make a western conference all star team in the future though (especially when duncans gone and nowitzki is getting older and the lack of other really good pfs in the west).

After i read this post...i started to think if your forgetting a guy that is 22 and on the rise....Kevin Love.

WolvesJagsOs
10-19-2010, 01:31 AM
One great PF should prove the point right there...

The league is seriously lacking big men these days.

I do liek Jeff green, but actually, there are a descent amount of PF's that are pretty good in the west. LMA aint too bad, Klove, Pau, D.Lee, Al Jefferson (should play PF once Okur is healthy, if not, Millsap is pretty good). Just to name a couple, im half asleep so i cant really think too well about all the PF's in the West.

Baller1
10-19-2010, 02:36 AM
I do liek Jeff green, but actually, there are a descent amount of PF's that are pretty good in the west. LMA aint too bad, Klove, Pau, D.Lee, Al Jefferson (should play PF once Okur is healthy, if not, Millsap is pretty good). Just to name a couple, im half asleep so i cant really think too well about all the PF's in the West.

Kevin Love completely slipped my mind, I think he's going to be a consistent all star for a long time if he stays in the West. As for Lee and Jefferson, I think they're both considered centers. I could be wrong on that though.

asha
10-19-2010, 02:40 AM
I Think he has the potential to average over twenty a game once he gets stronger and more aggressive, he's a potential all-star imo and i would not bring him off the bench..

DODGERS&LAKERS
10-19-2010, 04:07 AM
Kevin Love completely slipped my mind, I think he's going to be a consistent all star for a long time if he stays in the West. As for Lee and Jefferson, I think they're both considered centers. I could be wrong on that though.

Al Jefferson, David Lee, Pau, Duncan, Dirk, Lamarcus Aldrich, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, and Zack Randolph are all power forwards. That's in the west alone. The league has plenty of good big men.

Baller1
10-19-2010, 10:58 AM
Al Jefferson, David Lee, Pau, Duncan, Dirk, Lamarcus Aldrich, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, and Zack Randolph are all power forwards. That's in the west alone. The league has plenty of good big men.

Duncan and Dirk are on the verge of declining, while David Lee and Jefferson have both been considered/listed as centers in the past. Blake Griffin has to stay healthy. And Zach Randolph has only made one all star appearance so I don't know how much good of a big man he can be considered as.

Hoopsadvocate
10-19-2010, 05:11 PM
After i read this post...i started to think if your forgetting a guy that is 22 and on the rise....Kevin Love.

Your right I forgot about k love he would definitly get an all str nod over green

Hawkeye15
10-19-2010, 05:13 PM
I can't overrate or underrate him. He doesn't get much attention. I think he is a good role player who can play both sides of the ball, and multiple positions. Never going to be a star by any means, but a great glue guy who can have solid production, and an occasional great game.

soonabooma
10-21-2010, 01:12 AM
Jeff is a solid player for us. He doesn't always get the recognition he deserves becuz Durant and Westbrook get all the attention. When Jeff has one bad night, everybody makes sure to point it out. But the truth is....he does his share of clutch play, a block late in the game, a crucial shot, maybe he picks up a loose ball or gets a big rebound. Jeff can play ball, he played at a great college program and had a heck of a career, now he's learning how to get it done in the NBA. He gets outplayed at times, there's a lot of talented guys that he has to go against, but he's good about holding his own. We just need him to continue doing what he's doing and working to get better. If he does that, then he'll be a valuable piece to this teams future. Ibaka is gonna be great, but he's good coming off the bench. And as far as the whole Sefolosha/Harden thing goes, I'll just say that Sef is one of the best defenders in the league, the kind of guy that every team needs, but only a handful actually have. He's too valuable on defense to not have out on the floor. I love Hardens game and it will continue to get better, but I think he's another guy that we need to let come in with the 2nd unit. We're in good shape the way things are right now, Green and Sefolosha starting, and James and Serge leading the 2nd unit with Eric Maynor. We're deep, we just need good play in the middle. If we get that, we'll be as good as any team in the league. ;)