Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Long Island's Green can relate to Lin
By Ian Begley
It's early February of 2011 and Danny Green, Jeremy Lin and a few other members of the Reno Bighorns are out to dinner in Idaho.
This was a dinner among D-Leauge teammates, one of many that occur during the long grind of a basketball season.
"We talked about our experience in the league, other players, who's in good situations, who's getting good deals -- just pretty much what players talk about," Green said by phone on Wednesday. "Of course, we were all looking for the opportunity to play."
Lin, of course, got his opportunity. And he ran with it.
The former D-Leaguer emerged off the end of the Knicks' bench to lead the team back to .500. In the process, he became the talk of the sports world.
Green's also gotten an opportunity -- and he's taken full advantage.
The North Babylon native and Spurs guard capitalized on his increased minutes after Manu Ginobili went down with a broken wrist on Jan. 3. Green started 11 games in place of Ginobili -- and filled the stat sheet well for San Antonio. On the season, he's averaging 7.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists, shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc.
"I got an opportunity and I feel blessed," said Green, who starred at North Carolina after a stellar high school career at St. Mary's (L.I.).
Ginobili returned to San Antonio on Sunday against Denver. Green knows his role will change now.
"We'll see how it goes," he said. "I'm taking it a day at a time."
As far as his time in Reno with Lin, Green remembers the Knicks point guard as a good guy and good teammate. He also played with Knicks sharpshooter Steve Novak for two games in Reno.
Green gets to reunite with both guys on Wednesday as the Knicks take on the Spurs in San Antonio.
Of course, things have changed drastically for all three since that dinner last February in Idaho.
Both Lin and Novak will likely have gained job security with strong runs in New York. Green hopes the same thing happens for him in San Antonio.
"I'm very happy with my situation and I feel lucky," Green says. "We'll see how things work out."