We can't tell them apart (Getty Images)
Last week, in a preseason loss to the New York Knicks, Jeff Green ably faked 22-year-old rookie John Shurna (clearly unaware of Green's sub-standard 33.7 career shooting percentage from behind the arc) out of his shoes on his way toward a crafty, loping, one-handed dunk. Watch:
To some Boston fans — including announcers Brian Scalabrine and Mike Gorman — it reminded of former Los Angeles Lakers legend James Worthy; which is somewhat forgivable because of the fact that Green has played just 29 career games as a Celtic (including three during this exhibition season), and the Lakers only seemed to play the Celtics (and no other team) from 1980 until 1988. As the unworthy Worthy comparisons grew, Green became a little rattled, telling ESPN Boston that he wasn't totally on board with the comparison:
"Put this Tweet out to James Worthy -- he has Twitter," said Green. "I'm not doing it. Who runs the Boston Celtics' Twitter? ... I cannot be called the great James Worthy without his permission. I'm dead serious. I want you to put that Tweet out. I do not want to be called James Worthy. Get video, I don't care.
"I've got a message for [Scalabrine]: You have to ask the great James Worthy if I'm able to have that nickname of James Worthy, because that's a top 50 [player], one of the greatest players to ever play this game, and for me to be called that, it's an honor, but you have to ask his permission," said Green. "So Tweet it, call him, email, whatever you need to do, because I don't want to be called that without his permission."
A sound response to the uneasiness that comes from being compared with one of the all-time greats, to say nothing of being given someone's actual name as a nickname. Worthy, though, came off as a total mensch in his cheery response. Via CelticsBlog, here is the initial shot of love from James' Twitter account:
All a strain of exhibition fun, as Green averages 11.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game on 40 percent shooting spread out over 26 minutes a game in three Celtic losses. Not exactly Hall of Fame numbers, but we should remind that it was that striking visual that put Scalabrine over the moon; not the actual production.
Now, kindly go back to hating each other, Lakers and Celtics.
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- James Worthy
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