After dunking his way into our consciousness in 2007 and 2008, Gerald Green was out of sight just as quickly.
The former First Round pick was unemployed less than a year ago as he was cut by Foshan, a Chinese Pro team, last December. Green had last played in an NBA game in May of 2009 for Dallas - his fourth stop in the span of just two and a half seasons - and it appeared that at the age of 25, his basketball career was over.
But, Green hit the reset button on his mind and his game, getting back to work with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA’s Developmental League. He signed with the team a few days after Christmas. His success there (averaging over 19 points per game and earning NBA D-League All-Star honors), led to a ten-day contract with the Nets in late February. In Jersey, Green averaged just under 13 points per game in 25 minutes per game over 31 contests, flashing the electrifying athleticism that allowed him to jump straight from high school to the pros.
Fast forward to today: the ink is barely dry on Green’s three-year, $10 million deal with the Pacers, and he’s expected to play the critical role of Sixth Man for a team whose bench was non-existent during their playoff series loss to the eventual champion Heat.
We were able to talk to Gerald for the first time since he signed with the Pacers, and he openly discussed the peaks and valleys of his long journey back to the NBA, and why he chose Indiana as his next destination.
Here’s Green on changing his thinking after falling out of the league:
Green discusses the expectations that he and the Pacers have for this season:
The full podcast of the Gerald Green interview can be found here.