Not long after Willie Green was traded by the only NBA team he’s ever played for, Phil Jasner caught up with him: “In seven seasons with the 76ers, Willie Green was forever having his role changed. Sometimes, he was a starting guard, other times he was coming off the bench. Sometimes, he was at the point, other times he was off the ball. Sometimes, he was asked to put up early points, other times he was told to concentrate on defense. He played for six coaches, but he was always able to adjust… Green got the news after an early-morning workout supervised by assistant coach Aaron McKie…When Collins explained the situation to Green and other players at the Sixers’ practice site, Green’s 10-year-old son, Ross, walked away in tears. ‘That was pretty tough,’ Green said. ‘He loves basketball; he loves being around the guys. Kids don’t understand. All he knows is, he has to leave his school and go live in a different place, in a different space. And kids don’t want anything to happen to their parents. I told him it’s nothing to be sad about, that it’s exciting. And I’m blessed that the Sixers would rather that I be with a team where I can play than to be here and maybe not play at all. Tony DiLeo [the Sixers’ senior vice president and assistant general manager] said it best: He said every year people counted me out, and every year I found a way to play. It’s all a blessing.’ Green, a second-round pick of Seattle in 2003, was traded to the Sixers on draft night. He stayed for 422 games, with averages of 9.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He averaged 8.7 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds last season, shooting a career-best 45.7 percent from the floor; that included 13.2 scoring and 50 percent shooting as a starter. In ’05-06, he played in only the final 10 games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.”
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