Give credit where credit is due, that's what LeBron James wants everyone to know as he recently tweeted praise toward NBA D-League alum Danny Green. It was first reported that Green took part in the Heat's championship celebration after Game 7, but James has since reached out courtesy of his official Twitter account, and explained the real reason behind Green's appearance.
Danny Green did not party with us on Thursday night. He came to say congrats and I told him how proud of him I was for taking advantage.....— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 23, 2013
full advantage of the opportunity he was giving and keep going. We dapped up, showed love and he left. #StopBelievingAllYouHear— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 23, 2013
The kind words issued from James are significant, especially given the fact that Green found himself guarding the reigning league MVP during some of the biggest moments in the Finals. However, the North Carolina alum showcased his defensive abilities as well as his incredible shooting touch on multiple occasions throughout the 2012-2013 playoffs.
It wasn't long ago that Green was a young player struggling to find his identity and place on the court in the NBA. With the help of a few NBA D-League stints and a trip overseas, Green found his role with the Spurs in his third NBA campaign.
Green averaged 11.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 31.9 minutes during the 2012-2013 playoffs. He started in all 21 games, and also set a NBA Finals record for 3-pointers made (27). Green's minutes and impact increased as the playoffs unfolded, and despite going 2-for-19 from the field, and 2-for-11 from beyond the arc in the last two games of the Finals, Green proved that he has what it takes to succeed at the NBA-level.
After remaining quiet for much of their first round sweep against the Los Angeles Lakers, Green unleashed his 3-point shot prowess against Golden State in Game 1 of the second round. He notched his third-highest point total of the playoffs (22) and went 6-for-9 from downtown. Green scored in double-digits five of the six games against Golden State, and posted solid all-around averages outside of his poor showing in Game 3.
Following their entertaining series with Golden State, Green and the Spurs steamrolled the Grizzlies in the Conference Finals. Green got off to hot start in the series shooting 10-for-17 from the field and 6-for-10 from long range. After consecutive double-digit scoring efforts in the first two games of the series, Green's offensive production simmered against Memphis. Green scored just eight total points in the final two games of the series.
Green saved his best stuff for last and against his former teammate LeBron James. The sharpshooter helped his team push the Heat to seven games and scored in double-digits five straight games. Overall, Green shot 48% from 3-point range, and when the Spurs landed back home after splitting the first two games, Green went off in front of the home crowd. In his best showing of the entire playoffs, Green dropped in 27 points on 7-for-9 three point shooting. He electrified the San Antonio fans and helped the Spurs grab a 2-1 series lead.
In a pivotal Game 5 situation, Green raised his level of play yet again. In addition to 3 blocks, Green scored 24 points, and grabbed 6 rebounds. Once again Green delivered for the Spurs, but in the final two games of the series against Miami, the Heat's defensive pressure got to Green and silenced the 6'6'' 210 pound guard.
It was a playoff performance that no NBA D-League alum has shown us before, Green literally became a household name during the postseason, and now with the King's Twitter blessing, Green has become one of the NBA's top overall guards.