After finding himself without an NBA job in 2009, Gerald Green played two seasons in Russia and another in China before signing with the Brooklyn Nets in 2012, and his immaturity was replaced by humility.

“When you go places in life that you think you’ll never go, you change a little bit,” he said. “You mature a lot faster. I knew something had to change. It either was going to be me or I wasn’t going to be back in the league. That made it an easy decision for me to change. Two years ago, I was nowhere to be found. Now I’m older, more mature, understand that this is not a hobby, this is a job.”

Green proved himself with the Nets for the Indiana Pacers to sign him to a three-year deal.

“I’ve been through a lot and used to take things for granted,” said Green, now 28. “Ever since I’ve come back into the league, I’ve always taken it like this is my second opportunity to prove myself that I should be in this league. I haven’t done anything yet.”