Danny Green had the biggest game of his life Tuesday night, while playing in the NBA Finals for the San Antonio Spurs who, incidentally, didn’t draft him. It was in fact the Cleveland Cavaliers and Danny Ferry who selected Green 46th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
However, the year after LeBron left for Miami, Green was unable to make the roster out of training camp after he was beat out of a job by Manny Harris. As most people like to remember it, he was cut from the Cavs on October 19, 2010, picked up by the Spurs a day later and then he transformed into the player who went for 27 points on 7-9 three point shooting to take down the mighty Heat in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
This “fact” has led to much self-deprecation by Cavs fans on Twitter over the course of these playoffs. Here’s a sampling…
Here’s the thing about the whole Danny Green narrative…it’s all wrong. Allow me to set the record straight.
Just in case you missed that last sentence… THE SPURS CUT DANNY GREEN AFTER THE CAVS CUT HIM.
Green then spent most of the 2010-11 season playing for the Reno Bighorns, free for any NBA team to sign him. But no one did. I repeat, anyone could have had Danny Green for a solid five months. On March 15 the Spurs re-signed Green for the remainder of the season. There’s a myth that the Spurs sent Green to the D-League to develop and that this was “incredibly” something the Cavs never did. In reality he played one game for the Austin Toros.
During the NBA Lockout to start the 2011 season Green went to Slovenia to play. He returned to the Spurs after the lockout and finally had a breakout season and finished ninth in the voting for Most Improved Player. Green signed a three year, $12 M deal with San Antonio in the summer of 2012.
And now we’re here in the NBA Finals and Cleveland fans have one more reason to bemoan their state in life.
I’ll be blunt…this stupid self-deprecating crap needs to stop. That’s old Cleveland. That’s a defeatist attitude. And I’m freaking sick of it.
Cleveland fans are acting like we cut a superstar player because our team is too dumb to recognize talent. They don’t see the whole story. The fact is that it took getting cut to make Green the player he is today. And it’s obvious by the fact that he also got cut by the Spurs and then spent five months as a free agent in the D-League that he still had a lot of growing to do as a player. If he was so great and showed so much potential back in the fall of 2010 two teams would not have cut in the span of a month.
Look, it obviously sucks that Green is killing it in the finals while Harris is no longer in the league. But I guarantee you that Green would not be the player he is today if had never been cut by the Cavs. And let’s face it, the San Antonio Spurs are one of, if not the, best organizations in all of sports. They know how to develop talent and they know what it takes to make players great. Greg Popovich is hands-down the best coach in the NBA today. He convinced Danny Green that his best shot to make it in the NBA was to be a 3D player (three point shooting and defense). And that’s what Green did. He made himself into that player and now he’s the perfect fit in that offense with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and Kawhi Leonard. Green doesn’t do anything flashy. All he does is play great defense (something that takes all players time to develop in the pros) and shoots three’s. He’s not a superstar. He’s not even an All-Star. He’s a good player who’s in a great system with an all-time great coach who knows how to best utilize his talent.
Danny Green isn’t the product of a Cleveland curse. He’s just a guy who finally figured it out.
Good for him and Go Cavs.Follow @ClevelandFlack
 I couldn’t verify this but I believe that contract must have had a team option for the next season. At least that’s what appears happened.
 Feels like a safe time to note that Mike Brown was an assistant under Pop for three seasons.