Gerald Green, Houston Rockets
If one good thing could be said about Billy King’s tenure as the general manager of the Nets, he was good at finding talented players desperate for an another shot in NBA.
The great question mark, Andray Blatche, comes to mind, a player who could dazzle you and amaze you one minute, then make you want to rip your hair out the next. Shaun Livingston is another that comes to mind.
Gerald Green was one of those reclamation projects that turned out way better than expected. The 32-year-old, now in his 12th year in the NBA, is now one of most reliable off-the-bench scorers in the league.
But in 2010-11, his only season with the Nets he was just another struggling player trying to make a comeback. The former Slam Dunk Contest champion dazzled Celtics fans with his other worldly leaping ability, despite only having nine full fingers on his hands.
But only that got him so far. After being dealt in the trade that brought Kevin Garnett to Boston in 2007, he played some mediocre games on some strange Timberwolves teams before being traded to the Rockets and being almost immediately waived.
He found his way onto Dallas’ roster in the 2008-09 season, where he played 38 games before finding himself on the outside looking in.
He spent his time in Russia and the G League before the New Jersey Nets gave him a call. At that point, three years out of the league, he had reinvented his game. He had dramatically improved his shooting ability and learned to use his athleticism more efficiently.
With the Nets, he averaged 12.9 points in his 31 games with the Nets and had probably the best Net moment of the 2010-11 season.
After his short tenure with the Nets, he continued the life of a journeyman making stops in Indiana, Phoenix, Miami, Boston, and Milwaukee. By the start of the 2017 season, he found himself without an NBA job.
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, his hometown, he was one of the first in line to help his fellow Texans struggling to recover from the storm. Without a league offer, he considered retiring for the first time. He gave himself a deadline, New Year’s Eve.
And then Houston, plagued with injury early into last season, gave him a call. He exploded after a bad first game and carved himself a role onto the team. The microwave scorer, Gerald Green, found a team in the dynamic, score-first-ask-questions-later Rockets team.
So far he is the only former New Jersey Net that the Brooklyn Nets have played this season. (Courtney Lee had been hampered with an injury, thus did not play in the games against the Knicks early this season.)
He is currently averaging 7.4 points in about 16 minutes per game on a Rockets team trying to find their footing and get healthy.