Posted: Thursday July 14, 2005 1:12PM; Updated: Friday July 15, 2005 11:40AM
After electrifying the crowds in Las Vegas, Gerald Green may have some teams regretting bypassing him on draft night.
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LAS VEGAS -- Gerald Green waited 18 spots to be selected in last month's NBA Draft. But the Celtics rookie didn't take long to make a splash at this year's NBA summer league in Las Vegas.
In his very first game, Green wowed the Cox Pavilion crowd with an electrifying dunk that was still being shown on a videotape loop in the arena lobby five days later and that Boston team president Danny Ainge called "one of the best" he's ever seen.
Taking a pass on the wing just beyond the free throw line, the 6-foot-8 Green spun around his man, drove baseline, elevated high over 6-11 Clippers forward Mark Bortz and threw down an emphatic tomahawk jam. Bortz, who had slid over in a futile attempt to stop Green, wound up getting called for a blocking foul on the play as he landed backward on the floor. Green got a free throw -- which he sank -- and a cascade of hoots and hollers from his Celtics teammates on the bench.
"I was open and I dunked," Green said later with a shrug. "I wasn't real worried about it. The game was close. I was just trying to win.
"Some of the guys said they'd never seen anything like that before, but I think they were just blowing me up. I'm sure they've seen it before, especially on this team with guys like Ricky Davis and Paul Pierce and Tony Allen."
Green's dunk was so spectacular it sent several patrons scurrying to a concession table in the lobby where a guy was selling DVDs of the games. A few hours later, the guy had posted a printed sign at the table which read: "DVDs $20. See Green's dunk!!!"
Knicks assistant coach Mark Aguirre said he heard about the dunk from talking to players at the hotel. He came out the next day to see Green play, even though New York didn't have a game. "I've got to go see Gerald Green," Aguirre told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "You know a guy is something when the players are hollering about him."
Green is one of four high school players, along with Portland's Martell Webster, Golden State's Monta Ellis and Washington's Andray Blatche, making their debuts at this year's LVSL. So far, all four youngsters have been impressive.