BOSTON Following the Boston Celtics' 115-111 overtime win against New York, there were plenty of smiles throughout the Boston Celtics locker room.
For Avery Bradley and a number of his teammates, the victory was even sweeter being able to share it with Jeff Green.
Yes, that Jeff Green whose one-year, 9 million contract with the Celtics was voided in December after he failed a routine physical that showed an irregularity with his heart.
Further tests revealed an aortic aneurysm that required surgery that was performed in Cleveland on Jan. 9.
Although Green is an unrestricted free agent, it's clear that both he and the Celtics still view him as a member of the Green Team.
"It's always good to see him," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said prior to Sunday's win. "He's doing great, looks great."
Green spent the entire game on the C's bench, rising to his feet during time-outs, shaking hands and high-fiving guys whenever the chance presented itself.
Rivers said Green has been in town for a couple of weeks, which caught Bradley by surprise.
"I hadn't seen him in a while," Bradley told CSNNE.com. "I was like, 'where you been?' He was like, 'I been here.' It was nice seeing Jeff, healthy, getting better and getting back to playing basketball soon."
With Green being an unrestricted free agent, he will be able to sign with any team he wants to this summer.
But to see how tight the bond is with his Celtics teammates, and the fact that he's in town working out - he can ride a stationary bike now - speaks volumes about the impact that his short time in Boston has had on his view of the C's.
"It shows our relationship with him," Bradley said. "Not only that, just him coming back and supporting us, that means a lot."
Celtics veteran Keyon Dooling is in his first season with the Celtics, but he's been around the franchise long enough to understand how quickly bonds can form with this current group of Celtics players and coaches.
Dooling, who also doubles as a vice president of the NBA Player's Association, has had conversations and exchanged text messages with Green since his surgery.
"The guys in this locker room, the coaching staff, they really create a family environment," Dooling told CSNNE.com. "We've got some true, genuine people in this locker room. It just makes it like a sanctuary; like a basketball sanctuary where you can be free, who you are it makes coming in to work everyday, easy."