Danny Green played a focal role in the Los Angeles Lakers’ winning the NBA championship in October.
He wanted a chance to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis defend the title this season, but the Lakers traded him and the No. 28 pick in the 2020 NBA draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder for point guard Dennis Schroder. On Dec. 8, the Thunder traded Green to the Sixers in a multiple-player deal to acquire Al Horford.
“I understand that’s the nature of the business,” said Green, who will face the Lakers for the first time since the trade Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. “I won’t say [I’m] disappointed. I look at everything in a positive light. So a fresh start for me, change the scenery, change the speed, might have been good for me, might have been different for me in my chapter.
“You know this next chapter is ... hopefully a better one or a different one that’s something that my body and my mind need emotionally and mentally off the court. But I think everybody wants to run it back with the team they won the championship with.”
Green finds himself as the glue guy with the Sixers (12-6). He’s a veteran three-and-D guy, who makes sure the Sixers don’t fold under pressure. He’s averaging 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals as the starting small forward. Green is shooting 36.5% on three-pointers.
Green’s job off the floor is more important than his job on it. He’s here to teach his new teammates things such as guarding pick-and-rolls, guarding screens, and becoming better communicators on defense. He helps all of his teammates, not just elite stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Although he’s with the Sixers, Green remains close with his former Lakers teammates, saying Wednesday that they “are still my guys.”
“I still call them family,” he said. “I still call them brothers. We still have a bond forever, because of what we achieved together and the time we spent in the bubble. But now, our story goes different ways, and we move on.
“Now, I’m trying to rewrite or make history in the books over here in Philadelphia.”
Sixers reserve center Dwight Howard was also a member of last season’s Lakers squad.
The Lakers’ championship marked Green’s second straight NBA title and third overall. He also won championships with the 2019 Toronto Raptors and 2014 San Antonio Spurs.