Be Prepared

Gerald Green is learning the secret to NBA success
January 08, 2007

In his last diary entry Green, a 20-year-old second-year forward, discussed his first NBA off-season (SI Players, Oct. 30). Now, coming off a rookie season marred by demotions to the D-League, Green, who was averaging 15.8 points over his last five games through Sunday, looks like he's here to stay.

IT'S BEEN AN UP-AND-DOWN SEASON. As a team we've been all over the place: won three in a row, lost five in a row, won five in a row. And for me it's been almost as big a roller-coaster ride. I started off not playing much, which was hard. I just watched and waited anxiously and told myself not to get down. I'd stay late in practice, and I kept up on scouting reports. The worst thing that can happen is if the coach calls your number and you're not ready.

SURE ENOUGH, A COUPLE WEEKS IN, COACH RIVERS GAVE ME PLAYING TIME. I was relieved and excited, and my minutes have been going up ever since. I got my first start of the year against Philadelphia [Dec. 22]. I slept a little less the night before, and I was surrounded by reporters before the game. It was exciting. I was a little nervous, but once you get into the flow of the game, everything settles down. I scored 20 points that night, but I wasn't happy with my defense--and the coaches weren't happy with it either. My goal now is to get better defensively.

ONE THING I'M HAPPY ABOUT--ALLEN IVERSON IS A NUGGET. I kept hearing my name associated with a trade for AI. Trade rumors are hard, man. I would wake up and watch ESPN and pick up the papers to hear all the talk, and I never used to do that. It got to the point where every time the phone rang and every time Coach wanted to talk to me, I thought I was gone. I'm glad it's over. I like Boston, and I didn't want to leave.

ALL-STAR WEEKEND IS COMING UP [Feb. 16--18]. One of my goals was to play in the rookie-sophomore game. I'll have to play really well this month to earn a spot. If I don't, I'm hoping for an invitation to the slam-dunk contest. I've been working on a few things, just in case. If I get asked, I'll have a little something special prepared.

TWO PHOTOSCHAD GRIFFITH (GREEN SITTING); DAVID LIAM KYLE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (GREEN ACTION)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)