Jeff Green underwent heart surgery six years ago following a routine physical by the Celtics, and now, he’s helped the Cavs beat Boston and return to the NBA Finals.
The 31-year-old is thankful for the second chance he’s gotten at both life and basketball.
Cavaliers report: Jeff Green reaches his goal of playing in Finals after open heart surgery: ‘I almost lost it all’ https://t.co/rVwEyboIzn
— Marla Ridenour (@MRidenourABJ) May 28, 2018
Green stepped up in Kevin Love‘s absence from Game 7, finishing with 19 points in Cleveland’s 87-79 victory.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
Doctors at Cleveland Clinic made a nine-inch incision in Green’s chest, pried open his rib cage with 16 rods and repaired the aortic aneurysm that could have ended Green’s life when he was 25. It wasn’t until he returned to the court that an NBA title became his main goal again.
“I’m here, and I’ve battled. I’ve worked my [butt] off each day since January 9, 2012, to get back on this court and now compete for a championship. I mean, I almost lost it all, and now to sit here in front of you guys, to talk about the NBA Finals and playing in it. I mean, I’ve been truly blessed to be able to step foot on this court, to play this game,” Green said.
“Each day I give it my all. Whether good or bad, I live with the results. But I am enjoying it, every single moment of this. I mean, I don’t take nothing for granted. Nothing.”