Jeff Green’s career has been filled with ups and downs, as the now 31-year-old veteran has been on six different franchises since entering the league in 2008 with the Sonics. Green was supposed to be part of the Sonics (and then the Thunder’s) young core with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. In 2011, the Thunder decided to shake things up and sent Green off to Boston in exchange for Kendrick Perkins.
Green finished the season with the Celtics, and just prior to the start of the shortened lockout season of 2011-12, a physical detected an aortic aneurysm that required Green to have heart surgery in January 2012 and miss the entire season. That moment, almost six years ago exactly, shaped Green’s future and changed his outlook on life and his career.
After two more years in Boston and seasons in Memphis, L.A. (with the Clippers), and Orlando, Green has found himself in Cleveland, revitalizing his career in the company of veterans. It’s fitting that Cleveland is the place where Green has found a career rejuvenation, averaging 10.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game on a career-best 54.5 eFG%, because Cleveland was where he had his heart surgery that changed his life.
Green recently took a trip to the Transplant House of Cleveland to visit with patients and their families ahead of the holidays, bringing them some Cavs gear that he signed while visiting. Green spoke with Dime Magazine this week about that visit and what it means to him to talk with patients going through similar things as he did, as well as this year’s Cavs team, why he’s been so comfortable in Cleveland, the surging second unit, what he’s learned from LeBron James, his sneaker collection and more.