clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How Gerald Green taught me the beauty of perfection out of imperfection

New, comments

The Phoenix Suns featured several surprising players last season in winning roughly twice the number of games forecast by most, but none blew away expectations more than former castoff Gerald Green.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Gerald Green is an incredibly talented athlete. He leaps, twists and runs the floor the way you and I walk outside to pick up the mail. It looks so easy when he performs physical feats that only an extremely tiny percentage of the world's people can.

Still, those amazing gifts never allowed Green to become a productive NBA player through his 7 seasons and 6 franchises until he found the combination to unlock them this past season with the Suns.

Green's flaws are plentiful:

  • Poor ballhandler
  • Tends to get lost in team defense
  • Shoots too much, and takes undisciplined, bad shots
  • Was acquired by the Suns when the Pacers wanted to unload him after his flame-out there
  • Is missing a finger
I didn't want him at the time of the Luis Scola trade. Few Suns fans did, but accepted it as the cost of doing business and acquiring a first round pick (Bogdan Bogdanovic) and Miles Plumlee in exchange for Scola.

Then Green showed us all by becoming the Suns' third leading scorer at 15.8PPG (second in points/36 mins), playing all 82 games and leading the team in made 3-pointers with 204, converting them at a 40% clip.

He also won the Suns a couple of games with amazing heroics like this:

And this game-winner:

The man doesn't lack confidence; that's for sure.

In this "summer of our discontent," let's remember that the flawed player we think is garbage today might send us into delirious delight with his achievements tomorrow, as Green did.

Wabi sabi is an ancient aesthetic philosophy rooted in Zen Buddhism, particularly the tea ceremony, a ritual of purity and simplicity in which masters prized bowls that were handmade and irregularly shaped, with uneven glaze, cracks, and a perverse beauty in their deliberate imperfection.

Gerald Green is an irregularly shaped bowl. His glaze is uneven. He's cracked. And he's perfect. Or at least, he was perfect for what the Suns needed last season. I won't go into his contract situation, or how he might figure into future Suns plans.

All I know is that Green gave us all a happy surprise last season, and I enjoyed the hell out of watching him play.

So, you wanted LeBron James? Or Kevin Love? Or Thad Young? Or a drama-free Bledsoe contract negotiation? Or...I could go on and on. It doesn't work that way. It's always a struggle, and always imperfect. Embrace that.

Now, time for a poll question.