NEW YORK CITY – San Antonio Spurs free agent Danny Green exchanged laces for cleats for Steve Nash’s annual Showdown in Chinatown in New York City charity soccer event benefiting children everywhere for the Steve Nash Foundation.
While at the soccer game, I got a chance to speak one-on-one with Green right before he hit the field to raise money for such a worthy cause.
In this Q&A, Green reacted on the recent news guard Patty Mills opting out of his contract with the Spurs, his thoughts on the Spurs losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, his performance versus the Thunder in the Conference Finals and much more.
Before the Q&A, I catch Green struggling with his soccer shoes and laughing about not being comfortable in cleats.
Jeff: It came out that your teammate, Patty Mills, opted out and will be a free agent. What are your thoughts?
Danny: Really! That’s a surprise to me. He told me he had a player’s option. Maybe he had word he had a better deal or something like that, but best of luck to him. He’s a great kid. He’s a real good player and maybe, I guess, he’s found a better situation for what’s best for him and his talents, his family whatever that may be. But I know he is going to Australia to play (at Olympics) but I have to hit him up and talk to him to see what’s going on with him. But I’m surprised and I wish him the best of luck.
Jeff: Let’s talk about last season’s playoff run. The team came up short against Oklahoma. What are your thoughts on how the series ended.
Danny: It was tough. I mean, obviously it ended unexpectedly. We were up two game and next, you know, we’re down a game, 3-2, and then we lost. Obviously, we expected to be in the (NBA) Finals, we expected to move further, and sometimes it happens that way. We played a team, that played really well and we didn’t shoot the ball as well as we liked to. Our chemistry wasn’t there as well as we wanted it to be. We had to make a couple of changes, make adjustments and they made all the proper adjustments. They played really well, they shot the ball really well and they were clicking. So, they’re a good young team and they deserved it. We have to give our hats off to them.
Jeff: What do you feel about your second year with the Spurs and your performance?
Danny: I think it was pretty good. I had a lot of fun and I think I built some trust within the organization and within (Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich) Pop. At the same time, I came up a little short in the last series (versus Thunder in Western Conference Finals) and didn’t perform the way I liked to and I’m sure the way they (Spurs) wanted me to perform as well. I didn’t shoot as well but it’s a learning experience and I hope that I would grow from this this whole year. It’s a lot of fun and I think I made a couple of good strides forward.
Jeff: July 1st is right around the corner. You’re looking to hopefully come back to San Antonio?
Danny: (smiling) I am! But business is business at the end of the day. You never know what’s going to happen and I got to do what’s best for me and my family.
Jeff: So you are open to going somewhere else if that opportunity arises?
Danny: If it arises, if it happens, something crazy happens but like I said, business is business and I got to do what’s best for me and my family. San Antonio is obviously a favorite of mine and it’s a great place for me and where I get a chance to show my talents and it fits for me. I’d definitely like to go back there but if something else arises, then you know.
Jeff: What did Pop say at the exit interview?
Danny: We didn’t have any individual exit interviews. I don’t think they do those. Last year we didn’t have one either. It’s a team exit interview. Obviously, everybody said their goodbyes to each other. We have a lot of foreigners on our team that are going to play for their national teams. Everybody said their goodbyes, wish everybody best of luck and exchanged (phone) numbers and said we’ll be in touch soon.