Let’s take a moment and thank the Phoenix Suns for re-re-introducing super-human dunk machine Gerald Green into our lives. The former 18th overall pick (in the 2005 NBA draft) was a member of the last preps-to-pros class, and his career quickly descended down the path of “cautionary tale” as he bounced around to four teams in four years, only averaging double digit scoring once, while being most known for a lone slam dunk contest title in 2007. By 2009, Green had landed in Russia, where he wound up on teams with unpronounceable names: PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban, BC Krasnye Krylia. He eventually moved on to China for a stint with the Foshan Dralians before the Lakers picked up him up as a free agent in 2011.
He spent about five minutes with big league club before landing back in the D-League, after which the New Jersey Nets took a flier on him with a couple 10-day contracts. His time in New Jersey was mostly forgettable, save for this “Welcome Back, Gerald Green” moment. Green was signed for the remainder of the season, but, as always, it didn’t last. His next stop was Indiana, where he lasted — wait for it — one season before being traded to Phoenix. By the start of the 2013-14 season, Green had been on the roster for nine teams (including three foreign teams). Then came new head coach Jeff Hornacek and a new run-and-gun philosophy.
For the first time in his career, Green played all 82 games (he had played 81 his second season in the league, but never more than 60 outside of that). He notched career highs in minutes (28.4 per game) and scoring (15.8 points per game), helping to push a surprising Suns squad to within one game of a playoff berth in the stacked Western Conference. Green, who is still only 28 years old, is in the final year of a three-year deal, but seems to have found (finally) the perfect fit. Aside from the three dunks you see above, he finished with 26 points (on 11-of-19 shooting, with a couple threes). Amid the carnage of another Lakers’ loss, he also managed to take in the scenery at Staples Center for a brief moment.