San Antonio Spurs' Danny Green sure has come a long way from his days in New York. From the "Big Apple," UNC, the Cavaliers, the D-League to the Spurs, he sure has grown into a solid NBA player and contributor for one of the league's premier franchises.
And even then, Green almost didn't come back to the Spurs heading into last season. Fortunately, the Spurs brought him back and he had one of the best seasons in his young NBA career.
In an interview with Slam Online, Green opened up about becoming the player and man he is today. Here are some of the highlights including his thoughts on his first workout with San Antonio and laughing at coach Pop.
On players he grew up emulating:
SLAM: MJ was the guy who you tried to model your game after?
DG: He was one of them. A lot of other guys, though—I tried to take moves from everybody. Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury. You know Allen had the commercial with his crossover. Even Kobe. A bunch of different guys growing up. Jason Williams, from Sacramento, he was one of my favorites, too. The way he used to pass!
Favorite team growing up:
SLAM: What was your favorite team in those days?
DG: I used to like the Bulls growing up. I’m a big Michael Jordan fan, and he’s a good person to follow and watch—he’s probably the greatest that’s ever played.
On his first tryout with the Spurs:
SLAM: When they (Cavs) released you, was there ever a feeling like the whole NBA thing just wasn’t going to work?
DG: There were definitely doubts. Once I was released, there weren’t many phone calls. The Spurs called me for a workout, and I went for a week, and then I didn’t know what was going to happen. It just didn’t look good. I was going to go overseas because the lockout was coming—nobody knew, or I didn’t know at least—so there were so many doubts. I just kept at it. My family did a great job supporting me and keeping me on track to achieving my goals.
On playing for head coach Gregg Popovich:
SLAM: How’s your relationship with Coach Popovich? I hear he’s pretty tough on the younger guys.
DG: He’s very tough, but he’s tough on everybody. I’d say me and Popovich have a great relationship. I’m pretty straightforward with everybody, and I like playing for him. He’s a very good coach, and he knows what he’s doing. He’s also one of the funniest coaches I’ve ever played for. He’s also very disciplined, and he knows what he wants. He tells you exactly what he wants you to do, and he gives you a lot of freedom.
SLAM: Don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone describe him as “funny” before.
DG: Yeah, he’s very sarcastic. It’s very funny to me. I always have a great time laughing with him or at him. That’s Pop. But at the same time he’s very strict and disciplined. He lets you have freedom as long as you play defense and do all the little things that you have to do.
All-in-all it is a solid interview and the above quotes are just scratching the surface. I recommend you check it out HERE.