Green protects chest with padded gear

Green protects chest with padded gear
April 2, 2013, 10:30 am
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A flash of white fabric could be seen peeking over the top of Jeff Green’s jersey as he attacked the rim for a dunk.

Underneath the uniform of the man who can soar like a superhero is a padded tank top that covers his chest, now a part of his game-day attire since undergoing open-heart surgery in January of 2012. Green first wore the protective layer once he began playing again last summer, and there was an adjustment period to the new part of his uniform.

"When I first started wearing it last summer and started playing, it felt weird," Green said. "I had to get used to it. It was tight, uncomfortable, you name it, that’s what it was. Before I didn’t wear a tank top or anything, just a jersey."

Nike created a customized tank top with padding in the chest and along the sides for Green. While he waited for his to arrive, he borrowed one of Rajon Rondo's.

Green, though, is listed at eight inches taller and nearly 50 pounds more than his teammate, making the top a tight fit. He often rolled it up and tucked it into his jersey during training camp.

“I was getting one made so I had to use Rondo’s,” he explained. “His was small, that’s why I would lift it up."
 
Green is now accustomed to wearing his special-made padded top. He doesn't think twice anymore when suiting up.
 
“I wear it every time I play,” he said. “I don’t have to, it’s just something that I do. I don’t even think about it now."
 
His tank top isn't the only item Green consistently sports. He has been wearing a rubber band around his wrist for years since entering the league in 2007.
 
"I've always worn one," he said. "I started when I got to the NBA. It’s not like an every day thing. I would just always wear a rubber band because I don’t wear jewelry and I don’t wear bracelets. I keep it on during the game -- I don’t have to wear a wristband over it. When I get mad at myself, I’ll pop it (snaps band). It’s just something I do."
 
Off the court, it is not difficult to predict Green's attire. He owns an extensive collection of plaid shirts, which he buttons all the way to the top.

"I started wearing them a couple years ago," he explained. "I just always thought that style was good. I’ve always been a fan, so I’ve always worn them. I own like 15. I only wear black and white solid shirts. I don’t know (why I don’t wear other solid colors) -- what other colors would you wear?"

Perhaps green.