Gerald Green Interview

Gerald Green Interview
May 26, 2005, 03:10 am
Jonathan Givony: Hey Gerald. Thanks for agreeing to do this with us. Where are you at right now?

Gerald Green: I'm in Houston.

Jonathan Givony: What have you been up to since the last time we saw you at the McDonald's game?

Gerald Green: I've just been working out a lot. Finishing school, just trying to finish school strong. That's about it.

Jonathan Givony: You're pretty lucky, living in the same city as a legendary trainer like John Lucas, is he the guy you've been working with?

Gerald Green: No I'm not. I've been working with John a couple of times, but we decided to try other thingsjust do different workouts and stuff.

Jonathan Givony: So you have a personal trainer you've been working with?

Gerald Green: Kinda sort of, but not in that way.

Jonathan Givony: OKso what kind of workouts are you doing? How are they different from what you were doing with John Lucas?

Gerald Green: In the John Lucas workouts, there were more scrimmage type workouts. It was more like game situation stuff, while the workouts I'm doing now are more individual workouts, like strength training, ball-handling, shooting and stuff like that.

Jonathan Givony: So are you working out by yourself or with any other draft prospects?

Gerald Green: I'm working out by myself.

Jonathan Givony: Have you guys started coming up with a plan in terms of NBA workouts? Who you are going to work out for and all that?

Gerald Green: We have a planbut I don't really know it. I have to talk to my dad about that.

594Associated Press

Jonathan Givony: OK. From what I'm hearing, you'll probably be doing private workouts with NBA teams--just you--rather than working out with teams against other players. That seems to be the word on the street. Is that the plan?

Gerald Green: I think so, but like I said, I'm not really sure. I have to get with my dad about that.

Jonathan Givony: OK. So have any teams already contacted you guys to do workouts?

Gerald Green: I don't know, but my dad would. Me personally I haven't heard anything, I'm just working out, playing basketball. I'm letting my dad take care of all that stuff.

Jonathan Givony: You must be hearing a lot of rumors about where you'll be taken in the draft. What is your best guess about where you'll end up being picked?

Gerald Green: I don't know. I don't really care. As long as god blesses meas long as I'm in the right situation at the right timethat's all that matters. It doesn't matter if I'm the first pick or the last pick. I just want to be in the right situation.

Jonathan Givony: Are you aware of the fact that if you don't hire an agent, but still get drafted--let's say in the lottery or whatever—and there's a lockout then you can still go to Oklahoma State and still cash in on that lottery contract after a year or so?

Gerald Green: Yes, I'm aware of that. It could [come into play] but right now I'm just weighing all my options, but I'm really coming down to making a decision.

Jonathan Givony: Oh, so you are planning on maybe hiring an agent pretty soon?

Gerald Green: I don't really know, I'm still weighing all my options.

Jonathan Givony: Can you tell us a little bit about your daily workout routine?

Gerald Green: When I wake up, I take a shower, go to school. I come home, maybe around two o'clock, I eat and take a nap, and then go to the gym around four. Then I'll be in the gym till I get done, sometimes I leave around eight, sometimes I leave at twelve o'clock at night. I leave when I get done, I don't have an hour when I have to go. Sometimes it goes quick, sometimes it takes a long time.

Jonathan Givony: Is that tiring? Such a long day, for a kid your age?

Gerald Green: It's tiring, but I have people that motivate me. People by my side, so they always keep me up or whatever. When we're working out, it's all so hard, but I know that it's going to help me in the long run, in whatever I do. If I go to college or I go to the NBA.

Jonathan Givony: When are you going to graduate from high school?

Gerald Green: I graduate this weekend.

Jonathan Givony: Congratulations Gerald.

Gerald Green: Oh thank you, thank you.

Jonathan Givony: Have you guys measured your vertical leap, wingspan, height in shoes and all that? I know a lot of people are interested in that.

Gerald Green: My wingspan I want to say is about 6-9 or 6-10. I don't know my verticallast time I checked my vertical was at the Roundball game, it was at about 42+. But with me working out the way I am, it's increased probably at least 3-4 inches. I don't know exactly what it is though, I know it's increased. It's increased extremely so

Jonathan Givony: I can only imagine, after seeing you in the dunk contest at the McDonald's game. That was one of the most ridiculous things, pretty amazing to watch on TV. That would be insane if it was that much better now.

592Associated Press

Gerald Green: Yeah, if I keep working out like thisI'm really doing a lot of strength training and stuff, so I guess that helps.

Jonathan Givony: Are you guys talking at all abouta lot of times lottery pick guys will do workouts in Chicago, just like private workouts for interested teams. So if someone invited you to a workout like that with some top guys, like Danny Granger, Joey Graham, Antoine Wright for examplewould you be up for that challenge? Or would you be intimidated by that?

Gerald Green: No, I wouldn't be intimidated by anything. I would have to let my dad handle that stuffbut it really doesn't matter. I'll work out against anybody. I don't want to put myself in a bad situation at a bad time, if it's the right situation then I would do it. You know I might be tired, or I might not be feeling good, but I never knowif it's the right situation then I would do it.

Jonathan Givony: Something that used to come up a lot in discussions around youpeople said that you play down to your competition. We really aren't hearing that anymore, so I was wondering first of all why we heard that in the beginning and what have you done to change that perception about you?

Gerald Green: I just took every game like it was my last. A lot of people would say that the people you are playing with are not good enough. I just give every game like it was my lastso if you play every game like it was your last, you are going to play hard. Whoever it is I am going to play hard. I don't care if you are playing against a guy that's a nobody, I don't care if you're playing against someone that's all-world.

Jonathan Givony: So is it fair to say that you heard what people were saying and you decided to prove them wrong?

Gerald Green: NoI mean I heard that, but I didn't worry about it. I just try to stay focused on basketball. If I get caught up in that then my game will drop and I'll let my team down.

Jonathan Givony: So how would you describe your work ethic? That's something that people also like to rag on you for.

Gerald Green: I think my work ethic is pretty good. My dad pushes me (laughing) so I've always been like this. I've always done a lot of drills and stuff. When I do drills then I guess I want to get better, so I think that's why that doesn't really bother me in that kind of way. I want to get better, so I know that if I work hard and keep on continuing to work every time I step on the court, I'm going to get better. So I do it.

Jonathan Givony: How prepared do you think you are mentally for the grind of such a long NBA season? With all the stuff that goes on on the side

Gerald Green: I'm mentally prepared. I think I still need to work on some stuff, but like I said, we still have a couple of weeks before the draft, I'll just take it day by day and see from there.

Jonathan Givony: Do you have any plans to help you out with that? Maybe someone you'll be living with to help you keep things in perspective and keep you on the right track?

Gerald Green: Like I said, I don't know. I don't deal with that. My dad deals with all that stuff. All I'm doing is playing basketball, going to school, that's all I do. Workout drills, and I guess just being a kid.

Jonathan Givony: I think what a lot of people like about you besides your athleticism is the fact that you have a really smooth shot. Do you see yourself as a shooting guard in the NBA, or do you think you can play small forward too once you gain some weight?

Gerald Green: I think I can play both positions. I guess I'll just have to play wherever they put me at, and I'll work on it from there. God blessed me with the talent to play both positions, so whatever they play me it is where I'll play. I've played both positions already anyway, so I guess that will help me in the long run.

Jonathan Givony: It's a little hard to track down what your stats are from the year, do you have any idea what you shot from the field, for three, and from the line?

Gerald Green: I had a really good free throw percentage this year, somewhere between maybe 80-90%. There pointersmaybe something like 40 or 50 percent, probably like 45%. And then my field, I was probably 50 or 60 percent. Some games I was bad, some games I was doing really poor, but then most of the games I would have nothing but dunks, and a couple of shots, so that really boosted my field goal percentage.

Jonathan Givony: How strong is the competition in the Houston area?

Gerald Green: The Houston competition is really strong. They always want to say that it's a football stateI think that a lot of people don't realize that Texas is one of the leading states for basketball. People just overlook Texas. It really doesn't bother me, but I guess that's why us Texas people have a hunger to strive more because it's harder for us. I guess.

Jonathan Givony: There are a lot of good players from Texas. Deron Williams, Ike Diogu, Jason Maxiell, Daniel Ewing, Keith Langford, Emeka Okafor last year. A lot more I am sure.

Gerald Green: Kendrick Perkins and LaMarcus Aldridge too. There are a lot of players from Texas, they just think that all the basketball players are from the East coast or the West coast, never down south. That doesn't bother me at all, though. It's kind of like motivation for me.

Jonathan Givony: What kind of impact do you see yourself having in the NBA?

Gerald Green: I don't really know. I'm just going to go out there with a lot of heart, a lot of fire, maybe spark the team a little bit.

Jonathan Givony: Are there any specific parts of your game that you think will help you out in your rookie season?

Gerald Green: Probably my shooting ability and my athletic ability. That's about it.

Jonathan Givony: You giving any thought to maybe participating in the dunk contest next year? You put on a great show in the McDonald's game, you'd have to be considered one of the favorites if you were in it next year, no?

Gerald Green: I don't know, I guess I would have to put some thought into it. Right now I'm not really thinking about the NBA slam dunk contest, I'm just worried about staying focused and trying to get ready FOR the NBA.

Jonathan Givony: A lot of people want to compare you with Tracy McGrady. Do you think that comparison is fair? How well do you think you stack up with McGrady when he was a high schooler?

Gerald Green: A lot of people say that, but I don't think I'm anywhere close to him. I mean, we're talking about Tracy McGrady. That's my favorite player, he's an amazing ball player. I try to watch him a lot, cause I try to use his moves or whatever-- he's a tall guard just like me—but people that are saying that I compare to Tracy McGradythere is no comparison. He is a much better ball player than I am, and will be a much better player than me.

Jonathan Givony: Pretty humble approach you got there Gerald. I like that, you gotta keep your head on your shoulders. Besides T-Mac, are there any players in the NBA that you look at and maybe try to learn from a little bit?


Gerald Green: Oh there's a lot of players out there man. Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Lebron, Carmelothere are a lot of players I can learn from. I mean, I can even learn from guys like Shaq. He plays so strong, he's so physical. I can't even name all of them, you just gotta go step by step. I'm just trying to be a student of the game and try to get as much info as I can about everyone.

Jonathan Givony: What do you think your biggest weaknesses are as a player?

Gerald Green: My weaknesses? Probably my mental toughness and my physical toughness. That's probably my weaknesses in my game right now. But like I said, I'm working at it real hard and eventually I am going to get stronger and stronger every day.

Jonathan Givony: When you say your mental toughness, what do you do to work on that?

Gerald Green: I'll give you an example. When you're at the free throw line, and you're getting tired, it's mental. If you shoot the first free throw and you miss it, you need to tell yourself I'm not tired, I'm not tired. It's mental toughness. Someone who is really known for his mental toughness is Michael Jordan. Even when he was tired, he also told himself, well I don't know if he told himself, but he showed that he wasn't. You couldn't really tell that he was tired. He just worked so hard.

Jonathan Givony: So what was the biggest factor that influenced your decision to declare for the draft?

Gerald Green: It was always a dream of mine when I was little. It was always a dream of mine to go to college too, so I am just weighing my options right now. I haven't yet decided if I am going to the NBA or to college. It's getting close. It's getting pretty close, but I am still weighing all my options right now. Just taking it day by day.

Jonathan Givony: So what factors are there going to be in your decision? What are you weighing side by side for the NBA as opposed to college?

Gerald Green: It's not really any weighing, it's just what my heart wants to do. It's mostly a good process, I reallyGod's blessed me to put me in a win-win situation. If I go to the NBAthat's a once in a lifeit's a blessing. And also going to Oklahoma State, that's a great college too. Like I said, I'm in a win-win situation. I think God really blessed me, so I just need to follow my heart.

Jonathan Givony: So if you go to college, would playing for Coach Sutton be a factor in your decision?

Gerald Green: Most definitely. If I go to college then I would really look forward to playing for him.

Jonathan Givony: Right now on our mock draft [this interview was done the day before the lottery] we have you going to the Utah Jazz, who are coached by Jerry Sloan. He's kind of like Coach Sutton I think. A little bit conservative, puts a big emphasis on defense and mental toughness. Is that the type of coach you would like to play for, or would you prefer to be with a player's coach who likes to get out and run a bit more, who'd let you improvise a bit and be creative with the ball?

Gerald Green: Any coach in college or the NBA has to be a very good coach. They know your style of play, so they will probably fit me into someone who knows what I can do. I'll just have to play with whatever style they play over there. When you are talking about the Utah Jazz head coachhe's a really good coach. It'll be hard not to do what he says, because I'll get better just by listening to him.

Jonathan Givony: It seems like the Raptors have shown an unusual amount of interest in you compared with other teams. Have you seen any special interest coming from their direction?

Gerald Green: I have interest in all the teams that are interested in me. I don't have any favorites for any teams. It doesn't matter what team I go to. Just to be in the NBA, that's all that matters. It's a blessing. I'm not going to be like: I want to go to this team or that team. I think it's a blessing to just be ON a team, so it really doesn't matter to me.

Jonathan Givony: So whatever city, whoever picks you. Even if Toronto is a little far away from Houston, and it's kind of cold, you don't care?

Gerald Green: It doesn't matter to me. Just to be in the NBA is all that matters. It's always been a dream of mine so I don't care how far away they are.

Gerald's PR Lady: Jonathan, we are going to need to wrap it up, so do you have any final questions for him?

Jonathan Givony: UmmmI wanted to ask him a little bit about his hobbies, if that's OK with you. What he likes to do off the court.

Gerald Green: I like to go fishing and bowling. And playing video games with my friends. Just hang out with my friends, that's about it. Oh and play hoops and work out.

Jonathan Givony: I wanted to ask you about the toughest matchup you've gone up against in high school.

Gerald Green: I would say Josh Smith. That was a real hard matchup for me.

Jonathan Givony: And what about this year?

Gerald Green: From what I saw in the McDonald's practicesLouis Williams was hard, Monta Ellis was hard, Brandon Rush is pretty good. It's a lot, they are all on the same radar so you can't really compare. They are all elite players. They were all pretty good.

Jonathan Givony: Alright Gerald. I really appreciate your time. Best of luck, and I guess we'll be seeing you either in college or the NBA pretty soon.

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