Wednesday, 4 January 2012
A.C. Green's days as a Laker.
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
There is one type of 'Green' that those who bleed purple and gold can mix with. It's the former player that wore the 45 on his jersey like Jordan out of retirement. The current of A.C.'s career saw him become an icon on two legendary Los Angeles Laker teams. Many ex-Laker players have passed through Hollywood twice. From other Showtime greats like Byron Scott, to current favourites Derek Fisher. Even Magic pulled a secondary Laker career out of his bag of passing tricks. Still the recurring role A.C. Green played for the Lakers flipped the script. His storied career saw one take a young buck with plenty of show during the eighties time, while his L.A. times sequel saw him as a valuable veteran on the Lakers dynasty of the new millennium.
From the 'frop to the fade and the forum to STAPLES A.C Green made his space as a regular staple for two great Laker teams. From finishing the Showtime breaks to leading the 2000 Champion teams bench with his Pied Piper guidance A.C. was a current and former great. Alternating between style and substance, youth and experience and flash and fortitude Green even made the Celtics envious. Colouring his career with great plays and contributions this was one green lucky charm for the Lakers that was far removed from Boston.
Everyone in L.A. was looking and watching, from Diane Keaton to Dr. Dre, fans to rivals and star players to role guys. A.C. bridged the gap between everybody and on a team full of stars in the biggest stage in the NBA, he still shined. Some questioned his beliefs, but nobody could doubt his faith. Sure some made jokes about his virginity, but on his day no one could screw with A.C.
How does 1,192 straight games played suit ya? The true NBA's 'Iron Man' shows a stark contrast to some of today's players who can't display that kind of consistency and cohesiveness. This Laker hero really was something to marvel at helping the top Lakers brass become a true war machine. Forget D.C. or any other NBA city. It was L.A. and A.C. that lead the charge.
Phoenix, Dallas and Miami may have been home for a while when A.C. laid his hat and the Portland raised player may reside in the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame since 2003 but when it came to Los Angeles there was just something about that town. The whole city was behind him. The All-Star with some delightful dunks was more than glitz and glamour. A.C. also gleamed from three and could keep your best player at bay with his All-Team recognised D.
He led the Lakers in rebounding for six of his first eight years for his team. Taking his own possession and proving that he didn't have to have a lot of plays run for him in a team that was led by Kareem, Magic and Big Game James amongst others. Green was still worthy however on his way to two rings, before his third during his second tenure with the Lakers in a new decade and the twilight of his career. Even though A.C. burned more pine than time. He still stepped it up off the bench to varnish the Indiana Pacers and put the finishing touches on the Lakers 2000, Game 6 Finals clinching win with a big three that must have even looked good to Robert Horry and Derek Fisher on the bench. Green played his role to the tee like these two and Rick Fox, as valuable as veterans like Brian Shaw or the championship certified, Phil Jackson/Chicago Bulls endorsed Ron Harper.
Today A.C. Green is the ambassador of basketball for 3BA International a 3-on-3 basketball league that plays in the U.S. and China but his Laker years are what truly took his worldwide. As his character grew so did his reputation. The man that used to quote scriptures to keep females at bay, stuck to his morals and the Lakers Showtime story. What resulted was the best picture of his career playing his role in support of the Lakers. Sure he may not make the rafters with his jersey, but his Laker career is worthy of putting in a frame. Everyone should be able to take a look at it, because it belongs to one of the greatest shows of all time.