Part of what has made Danny Green rise from a second-round pick to a useful 3-and-D wing is that he’s durable and consistent, so teams always can count on him.
It’s for that reason that he’s got that fish out of water feeling right now.
Green tore his ACL and LCL during the Philadelphia 76ers’ second-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat. Originally optimistic that it wouldn’t be that bad, the injury – which comes with a lengthy rehab and recovery time – was revealed shortly after Philly’s season came to an end.
Hosting his podcast “Inside the Green Room” for the first time since the injury, Green struck an optimistic tone about the impact it will have on his career.
“Well, my game is not based on athleticism, so I don’t think it’s going to affect my game that much,” Green said. “But I think the biggest part, the main thing for me is the defensive side. As long as I’m not a defensive target, and I’m going to work to not be that as soon as I get back and am able to be rehabbing. I think being able to knock down threes is a great thing, but as long as I’m not a defensive target, if they start targeting me that’s when I’ll start thinking about needing to close up shop.
“But I’ll make sure that I get back on the court, and it’s not going to take me a year. I will be back for the All-Star break, you better believe it, you heard it here first, so I will work my tail off to rehab, to get back healthy, my body and my bones usually heal pretty well, I don’t have any bad habits, so I think I’ll be back in time to help a team in a playoff run.
Green, who is a free agent this offseason, likely will have a somewhat limited market compared to how it otherwise would have been, and could end up in a situation where he has to take a one-year deal. He’ll latch on somewhere, and he thinks his ability to heal quickly could help his cause.
"I don’t like to pitch myself, but the biggest thing for me is to let them know I’ll be back sooner than later," Green said. "I don’t have any bad habits, my game is not based on athleticism, and I still think after an injury like this come back and do what I did before I was hurt."
At 34 (he'll be 35 in June), Green could choose to retire and not need to rehab in order to get back into NBA shape.
That path is not on the table.
“I’ve still got some good years left, this body is not that old,” Green said. “I feel like I was playing some good basketball before I went down, before the injury happened I thought I was playing at a pretty good level. I feel like I can still get back to that and play for a couple more years, for sure.”