As bitter as it was to part with such a talent as Jeff Green as a Georgetown fan, it was hard to not feel anything but pride on Thursday night. Unsure of his status in the eyes of NBA scouts, thanks to an unreal level of young talent in the draft and his team-oriented play, and stuck with a desire to earn his degree and perhaps a championship, Jeff finally chose to enter the draft after wowing in private workouts, and there is little doubt now that he made a great choice for him. Initially thought to perhaps fall as far as 12th, he was selected 5th by the Seattle Sonics, who aquired his rights from the Boston Celtics via trading the face of their franchise, the 32 year old Ray Allen. No Hoya has been drafted so high since Allen Iverson, the perennial All Star who left after one scintillating year on the Hilltop. Jeff Green’s mom, who made it to every game and even had a student cheer created for her, burst into tears and hugged her son, perhaps in recognition of her son’s dreams realized..
Jeff Green Being Selected:
The Seattle Sonics used the 2nd pick of the draft on the most potent scorer, freshman or otherwise, college had seen in several decades, Kevin Durant, a 6’10 forward who can shoot the three with ease, dribble like a guard, and finish over big men. The pairing will give Seattle two of the best young talents in the league, but more importantly 30 year old GM Sam Presti managed to find potentially a Scottie Pippen to Durant’s Michael Jordan.
Green seems already enamored to play with Durant, who he played with in high school in Maryland, but knows his role, even as a top five pick.
“I don’t need the spotlight,” said Green. “I don’t need it at all. I can go out and still play 40-plus minutes and do what I can to help my team to win. As long as my team wins…I may be the Big East Player of the Year, but that’s the National Player of the Year standing over there,” he said, pointing at Durant. “With the season that Kevin had, I understand. He’s very marketable and he deserves all the credit he gets.”
Summer league play begins July 15, look for Jeff Green to get plenty of run and be a contributor on a young Sonics team. As a consumate team player, a champion, an involved student, and one heck of a nice guy, the only thing missing from Jeff’s resume is a national championship, but it looks like an NBA championship may be in the work in Seattle…
*Green closes out his Georgetown career ranking 17th on Georgetown’s all-time scoring list with 1,339 points, a 13.1 per game average. He also stands 16th all-time in rebounding, grabbing 664 total, a 6.5 per game average (which is tied for 19th in rebounding average). Green also ranks 12th all-time in assists with 319, a 3.1 per game average.
Green became the 37th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career during the 2006-07 season. In scoring at least 1,000 points and grabbing 600 rebounds, he became one of only two players in Georgetown history to reach those figures, joining Reggie Williams (1983-87) in that elite group.
Jeff Green Highlights:
The Washington Wizards, meanwhile, looked on the oppsoite coast for their NBA Draft pick, selecting USC’s Nick Young. Although the team still needs an inside presence, especially with the certain departure of Brendan Haywood, the 6’7 shooting guard fulfills Gilbert Arenas’ wish for imemdiate scoring off the bench. Consistently one of the highest scoring teams in the league, the team will only add to their firepower with the mature play that Young provides.
Long known for its quirky point guard (Gilbert takes showers at halftime with his jersey on, practices jumpers at 3am, and once held a press conference during the playoff to announce he was on the NBA Live 08 game cover), it seems like will find a good companion in Nick Young. Sporting a mohawk and a bit of a prankster, Nick also hails from LA, like Gilbert, and is known for his antics, and even had his own documentary made.
For a warm Nick Young welcome, see this post by An Orange County Girl.
For more about Nick Young the player, see this Washington Post article.