All Celtics fans are delighted with Green's healthy return to the team and his impressive performance so far as cream on top. Today, an emotional story on Boston Globe has offered some details on how Green's healing process was. It describes in some detail how shocked Green was to hear about his condition, how lucky he was that the operation was done that early, how the first few weeks were simply disheartening and how a hard contact he got at a scrimmage at Georgetown made him sure that he was OK.
It is a great article to read overall, yet one quote from Green particularly got my attention.
"Before the surgery, my whole focus was basketball,” said Green. “With the snap of a finger, it was taken away from me. The surgery allowed me to sit back and think that basketball is not going to be there forever.”
We have probably all been there. You value something too much that you become obsessed with tiny details, lose focus, feel extra pressure on you and it reaches a point where you cannot function properly. Then something happens which reminds you that there's more, gives you a fresh perspective and you grasp that thing more successfully.
I remember reading stories this offseason in which Ainge, Rivers, Garnett, Pierce all mentioned how aggressive/comfortable Green was on court and how he looked different. One explanation to that is basketball related: he knows the team more, he knows his role now etc. Yet I think another explanation is psychological, and is that Green has gotten that fresh perspective and got rid of all that extra pressure created by the expectations around him.
I was shocked to hear about Green's condition last summer, and then in February came Wilcox's news and it was just horrible. Yet the scar buddies (as Green calls them) are doing well this year, and they will contribute to C's success one way or another. As Rivers puts it: "If we win a championship this year, it’s because Jeff Green had a lot to do with it."
I strongly agree with Doc and I believe that Celtics fans will appreciate Green as he appreciates the game of basketball. The end of this year will also mean the end of this silly conversation on how overpaid he is. I cannot wait.