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Ex-NBA Slam Dunk champion leaves Rockets coaching staff to make a comeback in G League

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  • Gerald Green
    Gerald Green
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With COVID-19 issues across the NBA creating more playing opportunities for veterans, Gerald Green is leaving Houston’s coaching staff to join the G League as a player. Earlier this year, Green had joined the player development staff of Rockets head coach Stephen Silas.

Now 35 years old, the 12-year NBA veteran is pursuing a return to the league as a player, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Due to salary cap circumvention rules, Green is not eligible to play for the Rockets this season because he was on the coaching staff. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, there is a possibility Green could play for Houston’s G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, while seeking to earn an NBA opportunity elsewhere.

Former Rockets guard Gerald Green (14) was a former NBA Slam Dunk winner .
Former Rockets guard Gerald Green (14) was a former NBA Slam Dunk winner .

For his career, Green has averaged 9.7 points (36.1% on 3-pointers) and 2.5 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game. A native Houstonian, he was selected by Boston in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft.

Green was initially known for his elite athleticism, including a win in the 2007 NBA Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star weekend, but strong shooting with a quick release became his Green’s calling card as his career progressed. He proved a crucial bench shooter for the Rockets during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, which were two of the most successful in team history. However, he hasn’t played in an NBA regular-season game since fracturing his foot during the 2019-20 preseason.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gerald Green leaves Rockets coaching staff for comeback in G League