Eight months after suffering a serious left knee injury, Memphis Grizzlies guard Danny Green plans to make his season debut on Feb. 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers, Green said Wednesday morning on his “Inside The Green Room” podcast.
Green, 35, comes to the Grizzlies with three NBA championships and the belief that he can play a significant role in the franchise’s own title quest. Memphis management, including general manager Zach Kleiman and coach Taylor Jenkins, raved about Green’s organizational impact before he even played a game.
“What I bring is definitely needed here, perimeter shooting and perimeter defense,” Green told ESPN late Tuesday. “I think I can bring maturity and help a young team understand what it takes to win. This is an A-1 organization from top to bottom in handling the entire restoration with me.”
Green tore the anterior and lateral cruciate ligaments in his left knee while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals in May. He arrived in June on a night camp and spent several months rehabbing his knee to join the Grizzlies, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
“It’s not realistic [to come back from this injury this quickly]“Everyone’s body is very different, but I was lucky enough to have a pretty good surgeon, a pretty good body that healed really well and quickly, and the right people around me to help. I’m getting there. A lot of things had to happen for it to happen this way.”
As he enters his 14th NBA season, Green brings championship history with the Spurs (2014), Raptors (2019) and Lakers (2020). Most importantly, he can still play a bench role with his shooting, defense and leadership, backing up All-Star Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bain. Green has 2½ months to elevate his game before the postseason and build chemistry with the Grizzlies’ stellar young core.
“They made it easy for me here,” Green told ESPN. “They respected me and respected that I have a resume and a point of view and a perspective based on what I’ve been through. It’s still difficult when you’re not testing with the group, but we’ll try to get there as soon as possible.”
Green has a $10 million contract. He told ESPN that, “This is a place that I hope I can call home for the next two years. I’m lucky to be in a great situation with a winning team.”