Last year Celtics rookie Gerald Green, 19, was scoring 33 points per game as a McDonald's All-American forward for Houston's Gulf Shores Academy. After signing a two-year, $2.6 million contract, he has yet to get into a game with Boston. He shares his frustration in his first diary entry for SI Players.
WELCOME TO the NBA, huh? Things haven't gone quite as I expected. Let's start with the draft. My decision to come to the NBA out of high school wasn't easy. One of the main factors was the expectation that I would be a lottery pick. When I slipped to 18th, I was very disappointed; it was just a horrible night waiting to get picked. But after talking with coach Doc Rivers, I realized I was coming to a great organization that wanted me. I'm going to do everything I can to show them they made the right decision.
A FEW weeks after the draft I flew to Boston and bought a two-bedroom condo in Waltham, [the suburb] where the team's practice facility is. My mom, Brenda, flew up to help me because this is my first time living on my own and I didn't know what I needed. I'd never had to worry about things like toilet paper and shower curtains, so having her here was a blessing. We got on the computer and Mapquested everything, from grocery stores to the nearest Target. She left after a week, and now I'm living with two of my former high school teammates.
SO FAR I'm finding the NBA to be more about business than anything else. I was surprised how many players view the NBA as more of a job than playing a game. I also have to deal with not playing right now. I had an O.K. preseason, but Coach told me an hour before we took the floor on opening night that he thought I wasn't ready. I take [not playing] as motivation, just like the draft. I'm in the gym every day, even after games. If I keep working hard, good things will happen.
RICHARD SCHULTZ (GREEN TYPING)
BRIAN BABINEAU/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (GREEN IN ACTION)
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED IMAGING (DIARY)