Gerald Green’s 2017-2018 season was at a standstill when the Milwaukee Bucks cut him on the opening day of the regular season. After not receiving any offers for a given time, Green was stuck in Boston, where he had to rush to see his six-year-old son, Jeremiah, who was sick with an apparent allergic reaction. Green dashed to catch his flight, only having time to grab a backpack full of clothes and essentials. Green, who played last year for the Celtics, arrived at Boston receiving an update that is son would be okay.
The event after landing and getting the update would change the journeyman’s season around.
According to USA Today Sports’ Celtics Wire, Green got the call to try out for the Houston Rockets.
“As soon as I landed, that’s when I got the call,” Green said Thursday before his Rockets debut. “I was on the way to my son and I was thinking, ‘Maybe,’ but then I was like, ‘Wow.’”
He immediately prepared for the workout and impressed the Rockets enough to sign him to a 10-day contract. With the Rockets in town to play against the Boston Celtics on the same day of Green’s workout, Green was available to play.
“I don’t have any bags or nothing,” Green said. “I went straight from waking up to hearing my son was [sick] and I was like, ‘Okay, let me get my stuff, let me get my backpack. That’s it.’ I don’t got nothing. I had to borrow basketball shoes and everything. These are Trevor Ariza’s. So if I can shoot like him tonight, that would be good.”
Yes, Trevor Ariza’s shoes, Green had no kicks prior to the game. He also couldn’t hit a shot as well, finishing 0-for-3 from the field in the Rockets’ loss to the Boston Celtics, 99-98, after Houston was leading by as much as 25 at one point in the game. Nonetheless, the 48-hour process of landing on an NBA roster is an experience that he will never forget. See, Green was giddy to be playing for the franchise he grew up rooting for, an opportunity he’s not taking for granted.
“It means everything, just being in the city of Houston, this is everything to me. It’s something that I dreamed about.” Green said.
“It just gives you that much more energy, because this is the place I dreamed of being. Don’t get me wrong – any team in the league, I’m blessed to be on. But to be the team that you dreamed about as a little kid, it’s just that much more special.”
Gerald Green on growing up a #Rockets fan: "I was looking up yesterday when I came in the gym, just looking at the banners. I remember as a kid, sitting in front of my TV with my pops. I remember when they swept Orlando, he was walking around the whole house with a broom" pic.twitter.com/wHc74KHNt6
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) January 2, 2018
All of this includes him getting a logo braided hairstyle homage to the Rockets. These braids were rumored to have taken two hours to complete. Not a bad look !!!
Green’s opportunity was boosted with the recent injuries of key role player Luc Mbah a Moute recovering from a dislocated right shoulder and Rockets’ leading scorer and All-Star James Harden, with a partially torn grade-2 hamstring strain.
The 31-year-old may have had a terrible outing in his first game, but he put on a sensational stretch of games since his 10-day contract signing. Green has averaged 16.8 points in the last five games, shooting 54.9 percent from the floor and a sizzling 56.8 percent from 3-point range.
Green was so good the last two nights – following up a 27-point outing in a road win over the Orlando Magic and putting up 29 against the Warriors last night, hitting 15-of-25 3-point attempts in the two games.
“Thank goodness we got him,” said Houston coach Mike D’Antoni, “He’s been really good. He’s not just good. It’s not like, ‘Oh, this is nice.’ He’s been really good.”
With these 8 3PTM to go along with 29 PTS, 3 REB & 1 STL for 35.6 FPTS, Gerald Green is your @FanDuel Bargain of the Night! He posted that line at a $4,100 salary, good for an 8.7x value factor! #NBAFantasy pic.twitter.com/rOo7OTUllh
— NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) January 5, 2018
Green, after the game, was reportedly signing a guaranteed contract for the rest of the season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Green will make $872,000 for the season as he beat out Bobby Brown to obtain the roster spot before Sunday’s deadline. The Rockets are expected to be without Harden for two-to-three more weeks because of a hamstring injury, and Green has moved into the role of the team’s sixth man in recent games. A native of Houston, Green has revealed in his return to his hometown team and has become an instant fan favorite to the Rockets. One thing’s for sure, his hometown is looking at him.
“No team wanted me, man. No team wanted me. No team wanted me,” Green said, repeating himself for emphasis. “No overseas team. Not even a D-League team. So this is the only team that took a chance on me. For me, I’m just so overwhelmed and excited about the opportunity.
“You know what, man? I’ve been kind of thrown under the bus a few times in my career. So it’s not the first time I’ve seen that little area before. For me, what I did was just kept having faith in myself. Obviously, once it gets to be November and December and you still get no calls, you either lay down or you fight. So I just continued to fight. God blessed me with this opportunity. Now I’ve just got to try to take advantage of it the best way that I can.