Jeff Green: "I don't want to be traded."

Emotions ran high in the Boston Garden this past Friday as Rajon Rondo made his first appearance against the Celtics. In case you've been living under a rock, he had quite the game.

Most of the Celtics tried to play it cool when the media asked them about Rondo's return prior to the tip-off, but the emotion on the court told a different story. Specifically in the case of Jeff Green.

While I'm sure it was good to see his old teammate and captain in a good situation, it would be impossible to be on the floor and in a Celtics jersey and not wonder what it would be like if you were the subject of a jumbotron tribute. Green, while not here for the championship itself, has had to watch many of these tribute videos in the past few years. Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Big Baby Davis, and now Rajon Rondo- all members of the Celtics Green has played with, and all have been traded and given a tribute since returning "home."

Green, Bass, and Bradley are the remaining Celtics from the "Championship Era" still playing for the C's and unless the Celtics front office are feeling generous, will probably not receive the same type of tribute when they eventually return to Boston to play the Celtics. This of course assumes that the Celtics don't win a title in the next two seasons and that all three men will likely be traded before their contracts are up.

Jeff Green, more so than any Celtic in recent memory, has taken to specifically stating "I DO NOT WANT TO BE TRADED." While the obvious question is where would he go and what could we get in return for Jeff Green, it can't be overlooked how much he wants to stay.

For Green, it has to be more than basketball. In 2011, when Jeff Green had heart surgery, the Celtics did everything they could to make it easy for Jeff to do what was best for him. Despite technically being an "unrestricted free agent" after his $9M one-year deal was revoked due to his medical status, the Celtics kept him close. He, more often than not, was at the Garden sitting with the team during his recovery. As soon as he was medically able to return, the Celtics signed him to a four-year $36M contract.

Yes this is sports, and yes this is a business-- more often than not a very cold one-- but it would be crazy to assume that the actions taken by the Celtics during a very difficult time for Green and his family wouldn't carry weight with Green as his deal nears an end.

He's even gone as far as to respond to rumors before media can ask, as detailed by earlier this season:

"Before you start, I just want to clear the air about some B.S. rumor that came out," Green declared. "I don’t know if the person who made this article is in this [locker room] but the rumor about me wanting to get traded is definitely false. I said that I was frustrated with losing, not frustrated with the team. So if the words didn’t come from my mouth, I'd appreciate if you do not write a dumbass article like that."

As the Great Celtics Rebuild rolls into 2015, Jeff Green is clearly the Celtics next big trade chip. Whether he is moved this season, opts out of his contract, or sticks around reminds to be seen. While he may have not been around for the title itself, Jeff Green is acting like Boston is the city he earned a championship in. It's rare in sports, but not in Boston, that the city means as much as it does to the athletes that represent it. I'm sure Green would LOVE a tribute video... but not any time soon.

That has to count for something.