TORONTO – It took 1,030 days, but Danny Green finally has his ring.
The Philadelphia 76ers forward, who was a key member of the Toronto Raptors’ thrilling 2019 championship run, was presented with his enormous diamond-encrusted ring by former teammates Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam prior to Thursday’s game at Scotiabank Arena.
Green was feted with a video tribute and a warm standing ovation, putting a hand to his heart in appreciation.
“I always called him a glue guy for that team, which is an important thing,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse, wrapping Green in a hug. “A veteran who won a lot, was a great pro, was available . . . I don’t think he felt the greatest a lot during the season, but he always wanted to go out there and play, loved to play. And he brought a lot of winning qualities to the team.”
The three-point specialist hadn’t received his ring until Thursday due to a confluence of factors.
Since his season as a Raptor, when he started in 80 games and averaged 10.3 points and shot a career-best 45.5 per cent from three-point range, Green has played on three teams, been traded twice, and even won another championship, with the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers.
Green originally would have received his ring when the Lakers visited on March 24, 2020, but the league had been shuttered two weeks earlier due to COVID-19.
Last season saw the Raptors forced to relocate to Tampa, Fla., for their home games, due to COVID-19 capacity and border restrictions, and Green said on his podcast it didn’t feel right to receive it anywhere but Scotiabank Arena.
Thursday was Philly’s second trip to Toronto this season, but Green missed the first one on Dec. 28 because he was in COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Also, he and the Raptors agreed to delay it until April 7 regardless, as Toronto was experiencing a crush of COVID cases, and so a limited number of fans were permitted in Scotiabank.
Waiting to receive it Thursday, Nurse said, “Sounds like more fun to me.”
Sixers coach Doc Rivers said Green has made a career of being a role player, “but a star at it.”
“Winning is not luck, Danny has been in the right places because they needed him there,” Rivers said. “It’s one of the reasons we wanted him and he’s been great for us as well.”
Green and the Sixers could make another trip north soon; Toronto and Philadelphia could meet in the first round of the playoffs.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2022.