CAMDEN, NJ – The Philadelphia 76ers announced that forward Danny Green tore the anterior cruciate ligament and lateral cruciate ligament in his left knee during the season-ending loss to Philadelphia in Game 6 of the Halfbacks. Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on Thursday night.
Green was hurt when 76ers superstar Joel Embiid rammed into him in the first quarter of Game 6, falling into Green’s left leg after a shot attempt and sending the 13-year-old forward to the ground in a heap. Green initially said he was unaware of the seriousness of the injury until he tried to walk off the pitch after spending time on the pitch in pain and his knee sprained. folded when he got up.
“I was trying to get in there, I saw him drive to the basket, trying to position himself inside to get a rebound or not let the other guy double up,” Green said during his exit interview earlier Friday afternoon, before getting the results. of his MRI that morning. “Joel got to the edge, I saw him put it down… I didn’t know if he got in or not, but I just remember I had a fall. I tried to move, but I couldn’t get out fast enough It happened so fast, but I saw it coming and I was trying to love, pull my leg, but it got stuck under me and he rolled into it.
“I knew once it happened, I felt it. I knew I couldn’t get back to the game, but I didn’t realize how bad it was until I tried to put weight on it, and it gave in. Then I realized it’s probably going to take a while.
“I heard sounds that weren’t comforting.”
Green had said, at the start of his interview, that he was optimistic and hoped the injury wouldn’t be “as bad as it looked” and that he could potentially avoid knee surgery and be back. in time for the start of next season. However, that won’t be the case anymore, as he will almost certainly require surgery which would sideline him for, at the very least, the vast majority of the 2022-23 season.
Green, who turns 35 next month, said it was the first time he had suffered a knee injury in his career and had never needed surgery before.
“A bit lame,” he said. “Year 13, as you get older, it gets hard to deal with…not the most fun thing to think about when you start your summer. I think the worst part was just knowing that I couldn’t I can’t help the team and watching things unfold the way they did when I’m not on the pitch… the energy has changed.”
76ers coach Doc Rivers and Green’s teammates praised him for his decision to come on the bench and cheer for the team in the second half of the game. Green, however, said that for him it wasn’t really a decision to do so.
Instead, his frustration came from the fact that it took team doctors so long to clear him out.
“I just thought it was important that I was there with them,” Green said. “I was trying to get out early, but the [doctor] didn’t think it was a good idea. He wanted to reduce the swelling for the MRI and wanted me to stay in my back. But I was like, ‘Let me just put on my sweatshirt, and I could sit at a table and watch the game, whether it’s helping coach or cheering, just to have my energy there for them.
“But if I can’t get out, I know something is seriously wrong, so it’s taken me a long time to get out. But I’ve been able to find a shower and sneak in there for the last two minutes. … just to see my guys and say goodbye to the fans.”
Green’s injury capped a rocky season for him as he was not a regular starter for the first time in a decade and had his lowest average points and minutes per game since his first two seasons in the league. league, when he was shuttling between the NBA and the G League (then called D-League) as a fringe player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs. Green, who won championships with the Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers, said it was the toughest season of his career. He said that was the case not only from a personal standpoint, but because of everything the team as a whole has dealt with, including Ben Simmons who resisted to start the season and the acquisition of James Harden in the middle of the year.
“From afar,” Green said. “I’ve probably had more injuries this year than in my total career combined. Starting, not starting, playing fewer minutes. Injuries alone were more frustrating than anything. It’s been two straight years now here in the playoffs where an injury comes up where I think I can help my team so we can get to the next level, and we missed and I had to look aside. It’s never great. But, yeah, determining the rotations, having the guys not playing, the trades, who’s going to be traded, the trades going on, the new team, the new faces, trying to adapt and adjust It’s been a roller coaster year , especially with injuries.
Asked what happened over the season with the team’s play on the pitch, Green became the latest player to highlight some version of mental toughness as an issue plaguing the roster.
It’s worth noting how often this has popped up over the past 24 hours, with at least three players – Green, Tobias Harris and Georges Niang – all highlighting some aspect of mental toughness, intention or focus as something that needs to change in the future.
“We’ve been through a lot throughout the season,” Green said. “There were a lot of distractions, a lot of different things, you know, it was a roller coaster ride. Ups and downs. I think for the most part we have a lot of young guys as well. They handled it well. the situation. Extremely well. But we still have a ways to go when it comes to being mentally tough and I think it is enough to be mentally focused and mature. Staying locked up for 48 minutes for the duration of the season. It comes with a bit of age and maturity. So we have a lot of young guys, and they’re just starting to understand, they’re just learning. Some of them have never seen this or know how to win. So , learn to be professionals. But I think we have a good base. And if we could have everyone back next year, that’s a really good start. We’d be ahead of the curve to start the season. I think we’ll be back, back in the louses. talk about discord. “
As for Green’s future, he has an unsecured contract worth $10 million for next season which will be guaranteed on July 1. Asked about Green’s future later Friday, 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said it was too early to decide. the team would do with his deal moving forward.