By A.Sherrod Blakely
LOS ANGELES The Jeff Green era in Boston will officially begin tonight - three years after the Celtics drafted him and immediately traded his draft rights away.
Both Green and the Green team have a second chance following Boston trading away Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Green and Nenad Krstic.
The 6-foot-9 forward will make his Celtics debut tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"It's an honor," Green said after his first practice with the Celtics on UCLA's campus. "There's a lot of history behind the name on this jersey. I'm proud to be a Celtic."
The C's are pretty giddy to have him on board as well.
Green will be called upon to play both forward positions, a role he thrived in at Georgetown and later, with the Thunder.
In four seasons, Green has been a starter for 90 percent of the games he has played in, and averages 14.2 points while playing 34.5 minutes per game.
With the Celtics, Green understands he won't play as many minutes.
Not a problem, Green says.
"The same as in Oklahoma; just give it my all," Green said. "No matter how many minutes I play, whether it's two, whether its' 35, whether it's 26 every minute, every second, I'm going to play my heart out."
Still, Celtics coach Doc Rivers isn't expecting big things initially from Green.
"Jeff will probably take longer in some ways because he has to learn two positions, the 3 (small forward) and the 4 (power forward)," Rivers said.
One of the byproducts of having Green will be that it will afford Boston to rest Pierce more often.
Rivers believes Green will help Pierce as well as the rest of the Celtics.
"He's a talented player," Rivers said. "He's extremely talented."
Rivers visited Chicago briefly to visit with his mother, who is ill. On his flights, Rivers spent hours watching video of Green in Oklahoma City.
Two words -- very impressed.
Rivers knew Green was versatile, but didn't realize to what extent until he spent about 10 hours of watching him on video.
In addition to backing up Pierce, Green will also get a few minutes filling in for Kevin Garnett at power forward.
"He can handle the ball more than you would have seen our 4s (power forwards) handle it," Rivers said. "We'll let him handle the ball at the 3 (small forward) and let him run the show at times. He's going to help us a lot."
In addition to his ball-handling, Rivers was also pleased with Green's ability to score out of the post.
Rivers said Thunder coach Scotty Brooks talked glowingly about Green's post game.
''It's one thing to tell you, it's one thing to see it," Rivers said. "He's good."