July 11, 2015
Gerald Green had played for seven NBA teams, but he wanted his eighth team to be a championship contender.
"Once I heard that Miami wanted to give me an opportunity to come here and play, it wasn't even about the money," Green said on a conference call with reporters Friday. "I'm trying to help this team get to where it's capable of being and that's winning the championship. I've never been there before, but I know this team has."
It's the reason Green signed a reported one-year contract to join the Heat for $1.4 million, which is the league minimum for players with eight years of NBA service. He spent the past two seasons with the Phoenix Suns, playing alongside Miami's newly re-signed point guard Goran Dragic for most of that time.
Green, 29, brings athleticism and a reliable 3-point shot to Miami's roster, as the 6-foot-8 guard/forward has hit 36.8 percent of his shots from 3-point range over his eight-year career.
"Obviously, I'm probably going to be coming off the bench and helping the wing players out from time to time," Green said. "Coach just told me he wants me to do exactly what I did in Phoenix."
In Green's first year with the Suns (2013-14), he averaged a career-high 15.8 points and shot 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
Those numbers took a hit last season, when he averaged 11.9 points and shot 35.4 percent on 3s.
Green attributed the decline to a lack of playing time in his final year with the Suns. He played 19 minutes per game last season compared to 28 minutes during the 2013-14 season.
But Miami isn't worried about Green's offensive numbers.
Instead, Heat President Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra focused on defense during their meeting with Green.
It's an area of his game that was criticized by Suns coach Jeff Hornacek in April.
"They challenged me defensively and I told them I was going to accept their challenge," Green said of his conversation with Riley and Spoelstra. "They both challenged me to have the best defensive year I've ever had."
On the offensive end, Green is excited to play with Dragic, who signed a five-year contract with the Heat on Thursday.
Green's breakout 2013-14 season was spent with Dragic as the Suns' point guard.
"I couldn't be more excited, man," Green said. "I'm so excited to be playing with him, it's not even funny. I played my best with him."
Dragic wasn't his main reason for joining the Heat, though. It wasn't money either. Green was clear about what attracted him to the Heat.
"It's not about the money, man," Green said. "It's about winning."