Spurs Brasil interview with Danny Green
The SF position is one of the main mysteries of the San Antonio Spurs rotation for the next season. The franchise’s main bet of the Draft, Kawhi Leonard seems to be talented. More famous, Richard Jefferson still couldn’t fit into the team’s system, while young players, like Da’Sean Butler, Lance Thomas and Leo Lyons dream of some minutes at the rotation. Also young, the SG James Anderson also can be used at the 3. In the middle of all this guys, one name can be a surprise: Danny Green.
Defensive specialist, the 24 years old SF was one of the few names from this list who played at the last season playoffs – the other, of course, was Jefferson, the starter. It’s true that Green only played for seven minutes, but this puts him in a situation better than Anderson and Butler, who already were part of the roster at the time. These facts and his defensive qualities make Green confident for the next season.
While the lockout doesn’t ends, the player has chosen a different way. He’s in Slovenia, playing for the Union Olimpija – same team where Davis Bertans plays. Green played three games at the Euroligue, averaging 15,3 points (44,4% FG, 33,3% 3 PT, 90% FT), 3,7 rebounds and two assists per game. Despite the big numbers, he only won one game.
With the help of Union Olimpija’s media crew, Green answered some questions from Spurs Brasil via e-mail. Read the full interview bellow:
Spurs Brasil – After playing you first official game with Union Olimpija, do you think that the game in Europe is very different from the NBA? What are the main differences?
Danny Green – Yes, I do think it is different, has it’s similarities but, at the same time, different style of play with different rules. No defensive 3 seconds, so the paint is more crowded, and you have to be able to work in spaces. A lot of pick and roll game and moving the ball, in the states similar systems but usually based around one or two guys, not so much here. Not so much more physical, but you have to be smarter defensively because you never know how the refs are going to call it.
SB – What about the life outside the USA? Is it hard to life in another country, with another culture and another language?
DG – Life outside the USA isn’t too hard, especially here because everyone here speaks English, so that helps. The food is pretty good and the club provides us with everything we need, so they’ve done a great job with helping us adjust.
SB – How the team did contact you at offseason? Another European teams made proposes?
DG – The team contacted me through my agent and yes, I did have other offers from other teams, but none as good as this one, where they allow me to play until the lockout ends and go back when it was over if I wanted to.
SB – If you weren’t playing in Europe, what aspects of your game you would be working out right now? Are you able to work them at your new team?
DG – I try to work on every aspect of my game, from shooting, dribbling, ball handling, foot work and foot speed for defensive purposes and everything else that comes along with the game. Here I am very much able to work on those things, that’s why it’s such a great situation.
SB – Last season, you were one of the few Spurs young players who played at the playoffs. Do you feel ready to be relevant at the rotation? Do you think that this is going to happen?
DG – Yeah, last year I felt lucky to be able to even get in the game in the playoffs, which I was. Coach Pop didn’t have to do that. Next year I hope to be a part of that rotation and expect to be fully prepared for it when the time comes. That’s the reason I am working on my game now all the things the organization told me to work on.
SB – Since Bruce Bowen, the Spurs had problems to find a defensive swingman, a player to stop other team’s stars. You can be this player?
DG – Bruce Bowen is the ideal wingman everyone speaks of when you talk about the Spurs organization, for many reasons but, mainly, because he was very successful in their system. He is someone I have gotten a chance to watch play when I was younger and study his game. I hope to be able to become that player they are looking for, especially defensively.
SB – The SG and SF positions are full of young players at the Spurs roster and full of prospects around the world, such as Nando De Colo and Davis Bertans. Do you think that this is good for the team?
DG – Yes I do. It allows us to work with each other and push each other to be better. Also to be able to learn from our veteran wing players, so that when they are gone we are able to carry out the winning tradition there.
SB – Before the lockout, you had a chance to speak with Gregg Popovich about next season? What did he told you to do?
DG – I’ve had the chance to talk to coach on multiple occasions, his biggest thing for me is to work on my ‘motor’ and have more of a sense of urgency. We really hadn’t talked much about next season, just wanted us young guys to continue to work hard and on our weaknesses to give ourselves a chance to get playing time and be prepared for the lockout, was the main focus before everything happened.
SB – Do you talk with Bertans about playing for the Spurs?
DG – No, I’ve never talked to him about it.