NUGGETS

Jeff Green shares why he left Denver, why he hasn’t gotten a ring

Nov 30, 2023, 12:54 PM | Updated: Dec 1, 2023, 1:52 pm

Nikola Jokic joked this week that Jeff Green wouldn’t be getting his championship ring since he left the Denver Nuggets. But that’s what happened in Green’s return to Denver on Wednesday, the veteran forward went back to Houston without a ring.

Green chalked it up to a miscommunication and shook it off since he’s been waiting decades to get one, what’s another week? However, an employee working for the team’s media attributed it to Green’s family being able to come the next time these two teams play. Both sides said the ring ceremony for Green will happen on Dec. 8.

The funny thing about that upcoming game a little more than a week from now is that until Tuesday’s In-Season Tournament results were finalized, the Nuggets could’ve been playing just about anyone else on that day. And given the Rockets only scheduled trip and last scheduled game against the Nuggets was on Wednesday, this blunder could have cost Green the moment he’s been waiting 37 years for. And he seemed ready for that ceremony to happen last night, based on his breaking out of some sweet chrome Jordans.

“Just a miscommunication, but that happens, you know. I don’t want people to take it out of proportion,” Green said. “The jeweler has the ring. I don’t know what his travel schedule was, but it was something that maybe he forgot to ship. I waited 17 years to this point. To wait one more week to get it, I’m not stressing at all. I know it’s here … I’ll have my moment and celebrate with everybody. This gives me an opportunity to have my family here to enjoy the moment.”

In the end, all is well that finishes well…

Green had 12 points and stuffed the box score elsewhere in his return to the Mile High City, a 134-124 win by Denver. He signed a two-year deal with the Rockets this offseason, rejoining one of the 11 teams he’s played for over the past 15 years.

Green was a key role player in Denver for two years, appearing in 156 games as a Nugget. Playing for the pickaxes, he scored nine points, snagged 4.4 rebounds and threw two assists a night mostly from the power forward position. He also hosted the pivotal dinner in South Florida before Game 3 of the NBA Finals after the Nuggets had dropped their first home game of the postseason. After breaking bread together at Green’s house, Denver rattled off three straight wins for the title.

“It’s very hard (to leave), especially when you do what we did last year,” Green told the Denver Post last week. “You create a bond, and that’s something that’s forever. And the relationships that were built last year off the journey that we had, it’s tough to kind of deter away from that. But at the end of the day, it’s a business. At the end of the day, you have to make choices for yourself and for your family. And that’s what happened. But it’s no ill will toward anybody over there.”

Jokic as well as Michael Malone were extremely complimentary in welcoming Green back and Wednesday’s game ended with a Nuggets pile on top of Uncle Jeff.

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