Marshon Brooks ran as fast as he could on the open court and saw a running Gerald Green.
Green was way ahead of Luis Scola and Samuel Dalembert, who both stand a couple of inches short of seven feet. As Brooks lobbed up the alley-oop, Green went up high, caught the ball in mid-air and went into a freakish windmill slam, soaring way above the rim.
The crowd cheered and applauded Green as he scored two of his 26 points that night against the Houston Rockets.
For a moment, Green was transported way back five years ago, when he was the slam-dunk champion and a scoring threat. He was a far better player back then.
At 26 years old, Gerald played with a total of 11 teams in a seven-year span. He traveled all the way to the D-league and to Russia. Last December, Green was released by the Forshan Dralions in China without ever getting chance to prove his worth.
Nobody has given him a chance…nobody dared and nobody cared. He was always the player with good skills, but he was never the coach’s favorite. His former coach Doc Rivers said (via The New York Post): “I think there still is a very good chance for Gerald Green. He was just so young when he was here,” Rivers said. “He’s skilled. People look at Gerald and they just saw this freak athlete that won the dunk contest. Gerald can make shots. He can really shoot the basketball. He just hadn’t been taught how to play basketball.”
When you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. However, Green would have to go through a series of heartaches before getting back. Backing up two steps before moving three steps forward… this has been the life presented to Green.
Gerald has finally found his way back in the NBA. The New Jersey Nets didn’t have to worry about any risk in signing him. But nonetheless, it was an opportunity for Green to get his redemption.
The windmill slam clearly represents Green —turning the ball in a cycle —sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down.
He soars above on top for now, and he intends to stay that way.