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Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green‘s tireless off-season has … – Code

Josh Green‘s second NBA season was one of growth and challenges. He speaks to ADAM PEACOCK about his plans for the year ahead.
It’s no secret in the NBA, but not everyone wants to hear it.
The best never stop. Off-seasons aren’t actually off.
LeBron. Steph. Kevin Durant. Chances are, at some point in their day this off-season, they’ll seek ways to be better at what made them global icons.
Josh Green doesn’t have that stature, but after two years in the NBA, the mindset has seeped in.
Right now is meant to be his downtime. He could be on a beach somewhere, or headed back home to Australia for a few months, living the good life, given his rookie contract has already earned him more than $AUD8 million.
Green isn’t wired like that.
The reason is simple.
Last season ended horribly and there is only one way to stop it from happening again.
“I [was] in Las Vegas for about two months,” Green tells CODE Sports. “I just wanted to work, making sure I don’t get benched in the playoffs again. That motivated me to put myself in a position to be ready.”
Born and raised in Sydney before his family relocated to America when he was 14, Green was elite at everything he tried as a kid. At one stage, he was a NSW state-level athlete in nine different sports.
AFL footy and basketball became the priorities.
In footy, the Swans and Giants clamoured over him to be in their junior setups but, when Green’s father took a job back in the US, basketball became the top pick.
Dallas made him the 18th pick at the 2020 NBA Draft.
Green’s rookie season was one big learning experience, mainly from the bench as he featured in only 39 of 72 games. His second season under a new coach, Jason Kidd, was full of opportunity, more than doubling his minutes in playing 67 of 82 games.
But, as the Mavs got within touching distance of the NBA Finals, Green’s opportunities vanished.
Little deficiencies became big problems, including a dip in his three-point shooting percentage, a huge factor toward modern-day success in the NBA.
Just days after the Mavs’ season ended on May 25, beaten by Golden State in the Western Conference Finals, Green got to work at Impact Basketball, a privately run operation in Nevada, with the blessing of Dallas.
“We knew what I needed to improve on and came up with a good plan,” Green says. “I lost a little bit of weight, that’s helped, moving a lot faster, jumping like I used to jump. Fixing a couple of things with my shot, but overall, just making sure everything is tuned up. Studying the game a lot more.
“I’m excited, ready to go, see what it’s like next year.”
This week is the first bit of real downtime for Green, who is in Canberra as a mentor at the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) camp. BWB is a program run by the NBA and basketball’s worldwide governing body, FIBA, to help identify the best young talent on the planet, regardless of nationality.
Thirty two boys and thirty two girls, all at the elite level in their respective nations, have gathered this week from all over Asia. Kids from as far as Lebanon, Kazakhstan and China, to name just a few countries, are mixed with a healthy Australian contingent for drills, mentorship and, of course, high-octane games.
“It’s been awesome so far,” Green says halfway through the four-day camp. “As soon as I got asked, it’s a no-brainer. Everything about it is fun, and in a really competitive environment. Basketball isn’t the main sport in all these countries, so it’s been good to see the talent.”
Green is one of the four current NBA players at the camp as assistant coaches along with Jarett Allen (Cleveland Cavaliers), Coby White (Chicago Bulls) and Cameron Johnson (Phoenix Suns).
Four years ago, Green was one of the eager kids looking to impress as a camp attendee.
“I did a camp in LA and they make you realise how many good kids there are,” Green says. “It’s crazy. There’s camps covering Europe, Africa, the Americas, and this camp is for Asia. This is just one batch, so for them it’s important to work as hard as you can.”
The NBA has also brought some veteran NBA coaches to assess talent, including former Portland, Golden State and Seattle mentor PJ Carlesimo, who has seen it all in professional basketball and coached some of the greats, including Durant.
It’s music to Carlesimo’s ears to learn of Green’s mindset ahead of a third season with Dallas.
“He’s 100% right to do what he’s doing,” Carlesimo tells CODE Sports. “The strangest thing about the NBA in the off-season, the likes of Curry, Durant and LeBron, are just gym rats. They want to be better.
“We get so many kids who come to the NBA at 18, 19, that haven’t had the situation where they are knocked down a peg or two. I tell them, ‘This guy is already twice as good as you, he goes home and works his backside off.’
“The best get better by working. That’s their mentality.”
Due to his decision to go all-in with his training in Las Vegas, Green hasn’t spent the time he wants to in Australia this winter. His accent is waning somewhat, the American twang evident through most syllables, with his Aussie-sounding vowels lingering only just.
Little else has changed about his attachment to Australia.
“It‘s home, nothing better than being home,” he says, adding, “I love being around Australian sports.”
Green attended the recent Swans-Giants AFL Derby, pumped for his good mate from junior footy days James Peatling, now playing for Greater Western Sydney.
Peatling has gone the long way to make it at AFL level. After going undrafted in 2019, he eventually got a chance in the 2021 mid-season draft and has impressed enough this season to land a two-year contract extension.
Hard work has paid off for Peatling. Green is looking to do likewise.
He is meant to be resting while in Canberra, but watching the kids operate at full capacity has triggered Green‘s competitive instincts.
“I was texting my trainer in Vegas this morning saying I’m ready to work out again,” Green smiles, before turning more serious. “Any improvement is a step in the right direction, no matter how far, and as long as it’s one or many steps ahead of last year for me, I see that as overall development.”
Third season lucky in the NBA?
Josh Green is giving himself every possible chance.
Starting as a cadet, Adam spent nearly a decade at the Seven Network, before a 15 year stint at Fox Sports covering football, tennis, cricket, Olympics and jousting. Fave teams are the Socceroos, Matildas, Newcastle Utd, Manly, while hobbies include watching sport, eating food, sleeping and waking up to do the same.
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