A man playing in a basketball game

Bronze Medals, Red Frogs, and Big Dreams: Inside Josh Green’s NBA Journey with the Dallas Mavericks

The NBA playoffs have just concluded with the crowned champions of the Golden State Warriors.

But the rest of the league’s teams and players have had weeks, if not months, to take stock of the season that has been: among them, a 21-year-old from Castle Hill in Sydney’s northwest, the Dallas Mavericks keeper. , Josh Green.

His side fell one step short of making it to the title-defining series, going in five games to eventual champions the Warriors.

“Looking back at [the season] in the Western Conference finals and also winning a bronze medal, it’s great, but you know it’s demanding now,” he told ABC.

When it comes to standards, Green set the bar high in his second season with the Mavericks, scoring 18 points in his career against the Chicago Bulls, as well as his first double-double against the Sacramento Kings in March.

“I think a lot of it comes with timing and chances. Coach this year [Jason] Kidd was able to give me a great opportunity to play a lot more minutes,” said Green.

Less than halfway through the regular season, the 21-year-old already had more time on the field than in his entire rookie year.

Green, who has played 67 games this NBA season, added: “We have a great team, a lot of great guards standing next to me, so you know it’s just waiting for your turn and making sure you’re ready. “

A big boost to claim bronze

However, Green’s motivation doesn’t just come from within the Mavericks camp.

Twelve months after his first Olympics in Tokyo as part of the Australian men’s basketball team, Green is still pinching himself, claiming the Boomers’ first medal in the sport – a bronze – after finishing fourth in Atlanta, Sydney and Rio. .

“Words can’t even describe it; the medal is by my bed. I wake up every morning, look at it, it’s a great start to the day,” said Green.

“It’s also so much more than just a medal, to be with the great group of guys, it’s like a family, you know what I mean? I make sure I keep in touch with all of them,” he added.

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Josh Green talks about the likes of Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Matisse Thybulle and Jock Landale, all his opponents in the NBA and fellow Boomers who paved the way for Australians to play in the highly competitive American league.

The goal of playing sports professionally and representing Australia is something Green envisioned as a child, although basketball was not his first preference.

Green grew up watching Tim Cahill and the Socceroos and initially showed promise as a young footballer playing AFL in the GWS Giants and Sydney Swans academies.

Green got his start playing for Chester Hill Hornets. Supplied: Hills Hornets

At the age of 10, he excelled in several state-level sports before moving to the US in 2014.

“I had a time when I first moved to America when I thought, you know, maybe basketball isn’t for me. I wasn’t the best player when I was younger when I moved here,” Green said.

Four years after arriving in 2018, Green signed with the University of Arizona to play basketball.

“For a year I just tried to get into a Division 3 of a school in America to get free education and it just started to relax,” he recalls.

Within just two years, Green was selected 18th pick in the 2020 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks.

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The next step

After a short break from the Mavericks’ loss in the Western Conference finals, Green is already back in Texas, starting off-season training and preparing for his third season with Dallas.

More minutes on the field is the first goal for next year.

“If you can play 82 games in a season, it’s a great year. So that’s my goal to make sure my body is okay,” he said.

“Going forward, I think, all I want to do now is win, and with winning comes individual goals…I know if I can hit the target of getting a championship ring, you know everything comes with that.”

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