Tony Parker’s departure and Kawhi Leonard’s ongoing saga have put the San Antonio Spurs in the spotlight.
Parker signed with the Charlotte Hornets after 17 seasons with the Spurs. Leonard is still a member of the Spurs but continues to be mentioned in trade discussions.
Does Leonard want to stay or go? Danny Green — who is from North Babylon and starred at St. Mary’s in Manhasset — doesn’t have the answer. “I haven’t spoken to him personally and I don’t know his actual thoughts,” Green said at his annual youth basketball skills clinic at North Babylon High School on Thursday. “I just hear stuff in the media. I don’t know what he’s doing.”
When it came to Parker’s exit, he was caught off guard. “I was shocked,” said the standout three-point shooter, who was Parker’s backcourt teammate for the past eight seasons. “When you stay that long at one spot, you usually don’t go to other places. I think he still felt he had a lot left in the tank and wanted to have a bigger role. I loved playing with him, and I learned a lot from him and I am going to miss playing with the guy.”
Losing Parker and the uncertainty of Leonard’s situation means Green could see an increased role with the team he won an NBA title with in 2014.
The nine-year veteran was drafted 46th overall by the Cavaliers in 2009 but has spent the last eight seasons with the Spurs, carving out a role as a three-point shooter and perimeter defender.
Green has averaged 8.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in his career and hopes to improve those numbers in the upcoming season. “You just want to be the best,” he said. “Every player that takes their game seriously and wants to be the best works every summer on taking on a bigger role. It’s something I have to continue to do, and hopefully I get the opportunity.”
Green, 31, attended North Babylon High School as a freshman before transferring to St. Mary’s, where he averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four blocks as a senior.
He has run his “Team Green Basketball Camp” on Long Island since 2010.
“Regardless of how busy the kids are or how the turnout is,” Green said, “we wanted to keep this thing alive to give kids the opportunity to come in and have the ability to work on their game and interact with me because this is where I am from.”