D-League Players March Madness Memories: Danny Green
With the 2011 NCAA Tournament upon us, everyone is busy filling out their bracket. The tournament is arguably the best sporting event of the year, and it has provided so many fans with memorable moments over the years. Some of the tournament’s stars go on to star in the NBA, but the NBA Development League is also home to several NCAA tournament veterans. In celebration of tourney time, D-League Digest is highlighting a few current D-Leaguers who played in March Madness of years past. Today: Danny Green of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Reno Bighorns (UPDATE: Called up to the NBA by the San Antonio Spurs).
Danny Green made D-League headlines this week when he was called up by the San Antonio Spurs and signed for the rest of the season. Green played 16 games with the Bighorns this season, averaging 20.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 44.3 percent from 3-point range.
Green played 145 games over his four-year collegiate career at North Carolina, winning a Tar Heel record 123 games. He also became the first player in ACC history to record at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists, 150 three-pointers, 150 blocks and 150 steals, and capped off his career with a memorable March run in 2009. Green was a starting guard for the 2009 team that won the national championship. The championship was extra sweet because Green and the Tar Heels were embarrassed in the Final Four the previous year, losing 84-66 to eventual champion Kansas.
Green was a stalwart veteran presence on the ’09 championship team, averaging 13.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. That team stormed through the tournament, winning by an average of 20 points per game, including an 89-72 win over Michigan State in the title game. Their closest tournament game was a 72-60 win over Oklahoma in the Elite Eight. That was Green’s highest scoring tournament game with 18 points on 4-9 shooting (2-4 from 3).
After helping Carolina to the title, Green was drafted in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played sparingly as a rookie and also played on assignment with the Erie BayHawks. After being released by the Cavs in October, Green was signed by San Antonio, but the Spurs cut him in November after Green had played just two games for the team. Now, several months later, the Spurs have decided to give Green a second look, calling him up from the D-League and signing him for the rest of the season. Green is used to good things happening in March, and this could be the start of something good for his NBA career as he joins a team with the best record in the NBA about a month before the playoffs begin.