From lottery pick to heart surgery, Jeff Green is the Rockets’ X-Factor

Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets Jeff Green (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

From tragedy to triumph to renowned success, Jeff Green holds the keys to the Houston Rockets advancing past the first round of the postseason.

Houston Rockets forward Jeff Green has run the gamut of highest of highs in his NBA career, as he’s achieved many accomplishments. Green was initially drafted fifth overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2007 NBA Draft, and was later named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First-Team. Green also helped the 2017-18 Cavaliers defeat the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, replacing an injured Kevin Love.

But make no mistake, Green has also seen the lows throughout his career. After a great rookie season, Green’s contract was voided by the Celtics after a routine physical found aortic aneurysm, which is an abnormal bulge that occurs in the wall of the major blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to your body. Green ultimately had heart surgery and missed the entire 2011-12 season.

Green has bounced from team to team for the last five years, playing for nine teams overall. After a stint with the Utah Jazz, in which Green had one of the worst stretches of his career, he was released by the Jazz prior to Christmas of 2019. Green didn’t receive a lot of interest around the league, until the Houston Rockets signed him in February.

Next: Green's turnaround with Rockets