Danny Green nearly didn’t make it in NBA
by Alex Kennedy, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — Danny Green could not miss in Game 2.
The San Antonio Spurs guard took six shots and made six shots Sunday, finishing with a team-high 17 points as a rare bright spot in a 103-84 loss. He was automatic, rising to the occasion as Spurs stars Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili struggled.
Stuck in the NBA Development League just a few seasons ago, Green has become a starter and integral shooter in the NBA Finals. He’s asserted himself not long after doubting his own NBA future.
“It’s been a lot of ups and downs,” Green told USA TODAY Sports before Game 2. “It has been like a roller-coaster. There was so much that happened, but these past two years have been a blessing.”
Green was drafted 46th overall in 2009 by the Cleveland Cavaliers but struggled from the outset. A role player at North Carolina, Green was not able to contribute much at the game’s highest level. During his rookie season, he averaged 2.0 points in 5.8 minutes a game and spent most of the season with the D-League’s Erie BayHawks. The Cavaliers weren’t impressed with Green, and he was waived less than one year after being drafted.
The Spurs scooped Green up about a month later. Then they, too, waived him six days later. Back in the D-League with the Reno Bighorns, Green remained on the Spurs’ radar thanks to his hard work. He was re-signed by San Antonio just four months after cutting him. Green finished the season in San Antonio and has been there ever since, aside from a brief stint in Slovenia during the NBA lockout back in the summer of 2011.
Green can’t help but smile when thinking about how far he has come. He admits he wondered if he belonged in the NBA.
“There were doubts,” Green said. “But I kept the belief and faith in myself and my family did a great job of supporting me and being there for me. I wanted to give it my 110%, full-out shot before I gave up on it. I thought about going overseas, I was home for … [For more on Danny Green can't miss in Game 2 even as Spurs lose, click here.]