Healthy Green ready to contribute


Healthy Green ready to contribute

DORCHESTER It remains to be seen just how good Jeff Green will be for the Boston Celtics this season.

One thing the 6-foot-9 forward made emphatically clear on Friday.

"I'm fully recovered, part of the team, cleared for everything," Green said following a Basketball clinic along with Celtics rookies Kris Joseph and Dionte Christmas that was part of a community service project at Dorchester's Holland Elementary School that included Harvard Pilgrim Care and its Foundation, the Boston Celtics and City Year which is a non-profit organization that assists public schools and teachers in helping students succeed.

Green said getting into a groove has been probably the biggest challenge for him thus far.

"But that'll come," he said. "We still got two months until the beginning of the season. I've been fully able to do everything, contact; my shot is there, my movements there everything is coming along."

And while Green would have loved to have been on the floor with the C's last season, he understands his time away from the game will actually benefit him both this season and moving forward in his career.

"What I went through, it was a blessing in disguise," he said. "It allowed me to sit back and get things from a different point of view. Now I just have to go out there and play basketball."

Green has been among the C's in town recently to participate in pick-up games, proving early on that the heart issues that sidelined him all of last season are no longer factors.

The C's already have Green pegged as Paul Pierce's backup at small forward, in addition to him playing some power forward when the Celtics play a smaller lineup which will happen more frequently this season.

With such a prominent role already established, the level of expectations for Green are clear.

When you throw in the fact that the C's signed him to a four year deal worth 36 million after missing all of last season, that only adds to the potential pressure he will face heading into the season.

But when asked about the pressure of what would be his first full season with the C's, Green chuckled and said, "you guys put the pressure on me. There's no pressure on myself."

That said, Green knows for him to play at the level that he wants to - and his teammates, coaches, etc. expect - he has to be more aggressive.

"That's about it," Green said. "My game speaks for itself; a guy that can play multiple positions; guard multiple, different areas on the court. And attack in different situations. My game is what it is. I just have to improve in different things and show out there on the court."

When Green came to Boston as part of Kendrick Perkins trade in 2010-2011 season, it was clear that he was trying - too hard, actually - to try and fit in and not ruffle any feathers.

Green was seen as the player Boston essentially traded Perkins for, the same Perkins who was a fan favorite of Celtics Nation in addition to being loved by his teammates for his toughness.

Not only were Green and Perkins two different players, but their demeanor only made the transition tougher for Green who is very low key while Perkins is a bit more demonstrative.

But enough time has passed for all involved to move past the comparisons and focus solely on what Green can bring to the floor for Boston.

And while his first stint on the floor with the C's saw him somewhat timid and consistently deferring to his more seasoned teammates, their prodding him to be more of an impact player should manifest itself on the court this season.

"They also want me to do well and be more aggressive because that takes more pressure off them," Green said. "If I can do what I can do, that can open up the gates for Kevin (Garnett) and Paul (Pierce) and continue to dominate like they've been doing."

In addition to the time he spent reflecting on his game while recovering from heart surgery, Green also used that time to finish up his degree in English from Georgetown.

"Education allows you to do so much in this world and gives you so many opportunities," Green told the kids at Holland Elementary School.

Green added, "Education for me was big. I know basketball is not forever. That's one message I wanted to get through to them."

After all he has gone through this past year, few players understand that point as well as Green.

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'


Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”