Green's last second layup to give the Boston Celtics a 93-92 victory on the home floor of the Cleveland Cavaliers was all that more special to the Celtics player because the man responsible for Green even still playing in the NBA was sitting courtside — Dr. Lars Svensson, the surgeon who performed open-heart surgery on him at the Cleveland Clinic nearly a year ago.
While the jubilant Celtic players jumped around the court and Cleveland fans grumbled on their way out, Green headed to the locker room scanning the crowd for the man who gave him a chance to earn a living playing the game he loves and give him a hug. He finally found him.
Svensson has seen his patient play here before, but tonight seemed a little more special because the last second play would have never happened without the heart surgeon's skilled hands. As Green embraced Svensson, the doctor told him he was proud.
"Just a year ago and a couple of months, I was under that bright light with him working on me," reflected Green. "It's a blessing to be here.
" That was for him," he added.
The win ended a Celtic five-game losing streak. Green finished the game with 21 points and 7 rebounds and was mobbed by his teammates. The best hug of the night had to be by far the one from Dr. Svensson.