Wicked Local Staff Photo / Nicole Goodhue
 Even in a rebuilding year, the animosity towards the Miami Heat is alive and well in Boston. While making an appearance at the Glen Urquhart School in Beverly, MA to discuss life and basketball, Jeff Green saw a student in the audience wearing a Miami Heat cap and offered him an autographed game-worn sneaker in exchange for getting rid of all his Heat paraphernalia.

From Wicked Local Beverly:
“I have to make sure you get rid of this hat,” said Green, going over the finer points of the swap. “And you’re going to have to mail all your Miami stuff back to me. I will then dispose of it. Is it a deal?”

It was a no-brain decision for Barry, a third grader at the Centerville School. The tyke even shook on the deal, swearing off all of his Heat regalia for the entire season, before hurling his red cap into the trash can.
“I think it was pretty awesome,” said Barry, a native of Miami. “I can always buy another hat next year.”

Half of me wants to make a joke about Miami breeding bandwagon jumping at a young age due to Barry's willingness to ditch his Heat gear for autographed shoes, claiming he can always get a new hat in a year. But because he is only a third grader, I will lean towards the side of it being cute that he was inspired by Jeff Green.

Green spoke to the group about the challenges he had to overcome in order to get to where he is today. In discussing his heart surgery that caused him to sit out the 2011-2012 season, Green detailed his struggles:

“It was one of the toughest times I ever had to deal with in my whole life,” Green told the crowd. “But I remained positive. That allowed me to stay focused on what I had to endure the next couple months.

 “Those months coming back from heart surgery was like being born again, starting over, learning to walk,” Green said.  “Staying positive was something I had to do, and did do, to be here today.” 

Green has taken his experience with his heart surgery and turned what could have ended most players' careers into motivation to build strength and character:

“I was trying to figure out a way where I could make (the scar) disappear, but over time it grew on me and I started to love it,” Green said. “It shows character, something that I’ve been through and something that I’ve beaten to overcome to get back to where I was. I’m proud of it. I embrace it and I want other people to see it and [understand] what I’ve been through.”

Green will have a chance to show his growth as a leader and player this season, as it looks like Rondo will not return to the court until December, and the Celtics are without the veteran leadership of former captain Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

While it's all fun and games to make Heat fans lose their gear, the real test begins when the Celtics take the court against the Heat with their new roster this year.

 h/t: ESPN Boston

Danielle Hobeika 9/26/2013 06:25:00 PM Edit
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