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Rockets restart player previews: Jeff Green

The Jeff Green Dream Is Still Alive In Houston

Houston Rockets v Charlotte Hornets
He’s big enough. He’s old enough. He kind of shoot ok.
Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA is probably restarting at the end of July. There are players “In The Bubble” as we speak, eating the equivalent, it would seem, of Happy Meals, or maybe pretty good airline, or dorm, food.

Said Bubble Food also seemed (from the pictures I saw) calorie controlled, and really, not nearly enough sustenance for a large, in shape, person playing a lot of basketball.

“No way is Bron eating this, LOL” was also heard, from Isaiah Thomas. We are also informed by Marc Stein that the NBA meals will be WAY better when the bubble really gets started, or rather, when the important guys show up.

Anyway, why not refresh your memory of the Houston Rockets with The NBA’s Most Constant Enigma, the NBA’s equivalent of The Bubble Meal, Jeff Green?

Jeff Green

History: Jeff Green has been in the NBA for approximately forty years. (Fact Check: He was the #5 pick in the 2007 NBA draft.) From what I can tell, he’s one of 8 players remaining in the NBA from the first round of his draft class. He has played basketball for: Seattle, OKC, Boston, Memphis, LA Clippers, Orlando, Cleveland, Washington, and now, Houston.

Outlook: Jeff Green is the NBA’s ultimate heart breaker, its ultimate tease. He was drafted #5 overall, in the draft that featured Kevin Durant at #2 (and Greg Oden at #1). He’s got all the attributes NBA fans love. He’s big, he’s still pretty fast at nearly 34. He can shoot some, defend some, block a shot, handle the ball a bit. When he plays well, the 6’8”, 235lb Green looks like an All NBA player. Then he just sort of...ghosts... your team. It is his metier. No one, not even Joe Barry Carroll has done it better.

Green has played for eight teams since the 2007-8 season. Each of those teams, probably, had elaborate, possibly icky, Jeff Green fantasies before he joined them. All of them (so far!) have seen those fantasies remain just that. Again, when he’s playing well, there’s almost no one better. When he’s not, he’s nearly invisible. Invisible has comprised about 85% of his career.

Jeff Green has probably occupied more words, more trade activity, more anguish and hope, for less actual production than nearly any player in NBA history. There were older NBA guys who had similar paths, but the NBA fanbase was smaller, there wasn’t the following of the game all over the world, there was no internet, and Boston Celtics fans usually weren’t involved. All this lowers the output of verbiage exponentially. Particularly removing Boston from consideration.

But what if? What if, and hear me out now, what if Jeff Green really COULD find his game, his way, just a few times?

He’s not too old to be very useful in small doses. I just re-watched a 36 year old Manu Ginobili come off the bench and break The Heatles collective will in the 2014 Finals, in roughly 12 minutes. Maybe Jeff Green could fill such a role for the Rockets? (No, he’s not Manu. Clearly.)

Good Jeff Green actually COULD do that. Even now, at “Center” for the Pocket Rockets, he could swing, or seal, a playoff series with 12 great minutes.

The nice thing is, unlike the broken plans, the shattered dreams of various coaches, GMs and franchises since 2007, no one is really COUNTING on Jeff Green to do anything.

If he’s great, let him play. If he’s not, well, the Rockets ALSO have The Brazilian Kevin Durant.