With the Phoenix Suns’ season over, it’s time to take a fond look back on the 2013-14 season and examine how everyone performed. As the Suns became just the fourth team in NBA history to win 48 games and miss the playoffs, there’s plenty of optimism to be had for this young team’s future. So far we’ve covered Archie Goodwin‘s first NBA season; Shavlik Randolph‘s short stint with the Suns; Miles Plumlee‘s impressive potential; Ishmael Smith‘s job as a backup point guard; the return of the Brazilian Blur, Leandro Barbosa; rookie Alex Len‘s first season in Phoenix; Marcus Morris‘ development as a shooter; and Channing Frye‘s inspirational return to the court. Today, we look at a career year from Gerald Green.
Geralds are usually pretty special people, but Gerald Green took it to a whole new level with his 2013-14 season. As part of the Luis Scola trade that sent Green, Miles Plumlee and a first round draft pick from the Indiana Pacers to the Valley of the Sun, expectations were pretty low. After all, this was a tank move by general manager Ryan McDonough and Green was about to join his seventh team in seven NBA seasons. Most saw him as nothing more than an enigmatic dunker, not a crucial piece in a trade that became the highway robbery of Larry Bird.
In 82 games with the Suns, Gerald Green finally found the situation he’d been searching for his entire career. He had a coach in Jeff Hornacek who believed in him and knew how to use him by giving him the Green light. He had teammates who would roll their eyes at his shot selection every now and then, but they mostly supported him and knew this walking heat check had something special to offer. For a guy who was previously most known for his cupcake dunk in a Slam Dunk Contest, progressing to a Most Improved Player candidate was a huge step forward.