Gerald Green wants to be known for being a basketball player, not a basketball dunk artist. The Indiana Pacers wing told CSNNE.com reporter Jessica Camerato in January that he never wanted to enter another dunk competition again.
He's apparently reconsidered. Green will compete in the 2013 dunk contest as part of the NBA All-Star weekend, it was announced Thursday, along with Eric Bledsoe, Jeremy Evans, James White, Terrence Ross and Kenneth Faried. It's a good bet that fans of the event aren't too upset with Green's change of heart. The champion from 2007 and runner-up from 2008 returns as more of a complete basketball player, but he's still struggled this season to become a key role player for the Pacers.
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Averaging 7.0 points this year, Green was dropped from the rotation almost entirely in mid-March after struggling to become an efficient bench scorer this season. Falling in love with the 3-point shot has been an issue this year, as shooting 28 percent doesn't justify the 3.4 attempts per game.
So the bread-and-butter of Green -- a violently athletic slashing ability -- will be put on display once again. And maybe it'll help Green get back to his roots.
Green, formerly of the Boston Celtics, lamented his once-famous cupcake dunk of 2008 that wasn't enough to hold off then-Orlando center Dwight Howard. His comments a month ago smell of a wanted change of identity, but they also showed bitterness toward the dunk contest. That bitterness in losing might have made an impact on his return.
A man more impressed with the technicality of the dunk than the showmanship involved, Green was critical of Howard's approach and the victory:
"I grew up watching VInce Carter," Green told Camerato. "He didn't put on shows. He did dunks he felt like were going to be really difficult, like put his elbow in the rim. It didn't even look that good because people didn't know what he had done, until they realized, that dude has put his whole arm in the rim. That's ridiculous. It wasn't about, let me dress up as a raptor and dunk the ball."
If there is anything that can get more creative than blowing out a cupcake, let alone getting high enough to do so, then we'd like to see it.