Montrezl Harrell grew up idolizing Rockets’ Jeff Green

Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Harrell cites Rockets’ Green as early inspiration

On Tuesday, Harrell joined the Knuckleheads podcast, which is sponsored by The Players Tribune, to discuss his journey and ascension to becoming one of the NBA’s rising stars. Harrell cited Houston Rockets forward Jeff Green as an inspiration to him as a youth, stating that he grew up admiring Green and studying his game.

“I just looked up to guys who just worked, man. Guys who competed and got after it. I looked up at guys that were known for having that dog mentality.

I watched Jeff Green, all his early clips, from the surgery and after the surgery, when he came back, his story. Guys who just basically got it out the mud. And worked to become the players they are today. That’s who I looked up to.”

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Green was one of the top prep players in the nation coming out of the basketball-rich Prince-George’s County. Green went on to play at Georgetown University, where he became an All-American and a Big East Tournament MVP winner.

Green entered the league with much different expectations than Harrell, as he was selected with the fifth pick of the 2007 NBA Draft. Green averaged double figures in each of his first four seasons in the NBA, before missing the 2011-12 season due to heart surgery over a heart defect that nearly ended his life.

The PG County native bounced back and played in 163 of the potential 164 total games over the next two seasons combined. All in all, Green has become a journeyman, as he’s played for nine different teams in his 13-year NBA career, including the 2019-20 season, in which he was a member of the Houston Rockets.

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