May 3, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics power forward Jeff Green (8) reacts after a play against he New York Knicks in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. The New York Knicks defeated the Celtics 88-80. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Its been a long time coming. I remember when you first joined the Celtics–I wondered why? What could you bring to the table that was more essential than what Kendrick Perkins was already bringing? An inside presence, a defensive force, great team chemistry. When you came, we were all in shock. We had no clue that the Celtics were even eyeing you.
Now, today, when I look back on that trade, I think we won. We got the best player out of the deal at a discounted price. Instead of paying Perkins to sit in the middle, we have you to slash the paint up.
What you bring to the table is essential in today’s NBA. Everyone needs a small ball four and a slashing three. Your awareness of the floor is immaculate–the way that you use the spacing is special. In this league that is essential.
I know you started off slowly, but you stuck with us and we stuck with you. That slow start turned into a relative comfort and that comfort turned into an unquestionable feeling for the game. Your efficiency near the end of the season knew no bounds. It was like we got a completely different Jeff Green than we extended in the offseason.
I don’t know what happened with your performances at the beginning of the season and I also don’t care. I know what we got at the end of the season was a stamp to include you in the future plans of the organization.
Now if we can bring the same style and pace of basketball to the floor next season with Rajon Rondo on the floor, I’m sure the Celtics will be a force to be reckoned with in the break.
You are the athlete that we’ve been looking for. That change of pace from old and methodical to youthful, fast and chaotic.
Yes, that means that you have a lot of learning to do but we have three years left to watch you grow and mature. Hopefully we see that left hand develop and that corner three ball keep constant improvement.
We should see you learn how to guard the power forward position while attacking crossmatches consistently on the other end.
I have a lot of hope for you, Jeff. You were the best player in the playoff series against the New York Knicks. Your end-of-season splits are phenomenal–they let us know that someone is home.
We’re extremely proud of you for going through that surgery and returning to play. We will wish you the best in the future no matter what it holds. This season put you in the hearts and minds of Celtics’ fans–hopefully you keep yourself there.