I have said a lot of mean things about Jeff Green over the three years that he has been a member of the Boston Celtics. I have compared him to former Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D Drew in the sense that he was a high-profile acquisition that didn’t pan out in the way that the team thought it would. At times, it has looked as if Jeff Green didn’t really care all that much on the basketball court. He didn’t want to rebound despite his lanky frame giving him an obvious advantage in that area of the game and he was a terrible defender. When the Boston Celtics re-signed him to a four year, $40 million deal this off-season, I remember fondly not liking it. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I yelled at the top of my lungs causing my neighbor to run over to make sure everything was alright. Please note, I was in a pretty sound-proof basement at the time so that is damned impressive that they heard me. Kudos to them.
Despite all the mean things that I have said about Jeff Green, tonight was an emotional night for him. Tonight marked the one-year anniversary of the day that Jeff Green went under the knife for open-heart surgery. It was a heart condition that nearly killed the man, something I could never fathom. Yet, there is Jeff Green, playing basketball, trying to make his mark on a Celtics team that so desperately needs him to.
In the past week of basketball as the Boston Celtics have begun to slowly turn the corner on their basketball season, Jeff Green’s play has begun to pick up. He has shown more energy, a little more emotion, more of what the Celtics need from one of their best bench players. No four points he has scored in this time were more emphatic than the ones on Wednesday night. Jeff Green has thrown down dunks before, but there were something different about these ones. The energy and the power from Jeff Green were spectacular. Even Celtics play-by-play guy Mike Gorman remarked “what a story”.
One year ago, Jeff Green nearly died. We’ve given him a lot of crap over the years for his play on the court, but none of us could have done what he is currently doing.