Interview with former Butler star Mike Green

By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)

A native of Philadelphia, 6’1″ guard Mike Green played two seasons at Towson before transferring to Butler, where he played two seasons from 2006 to 2008, with the Bulldogs making the NCAA tournament both years. The 2007-08 campaign was Brad Stevens’ first year as a head coach there, during which Green flourished, averaging 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists as he took home Horizon League Player of the Year honors.

Despite his collegiate success, Green went undrafted, but participated in summer leagues over the years with five different NBA clubs. He played for his hometown Sixers in the 2010 Orlando Summer League, averaging 5.0 points and 1.8 assists in 17.9 minutes across 5 games with the club.

Green has since carved out a career for himself in Europe. He played in Turkey last season, but has also been signed to teams in Italy, Russia, and France over the years.

At the moment though, Green is back in the States trying to secure his share of the $2 million grand prize in The Basketball Tournament. Sunday morning, he recorded 13 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals to help lead his team, the FCM Untouchables, to a 91-57 win over the Paul Champions.

The Untouchables will now advance to the Super 16 round in Brooklyn. After the game, Green took a couple minutes to speak to me about his Butler connections and the summer league process.

You played at Butler, conference player of the year, in Brad Stevens’ first year as coach. Did you ever foresee the kind of rapid ascension to all the success he’s having in the league right now? 

Once he signed in the NBA, I saw it. You’re talking about he got six years, guaranteed, so an organization like the Celtics not gonna just give you six years guaranteed. So once I saw the contract, it’s like, yeah, he’s gonna be good in the NBA. But yeah, same as college. He adjusted in no time.

Are you still in contact with him?  

Yeah, we send text messages back and forth. Actually, I went to Game 2 of the Conference Finals. Bad game, but he made sure he took care of me and my friends. Unfortunately, the game didn’t go how he wanted it. But yeah, we’re still very much in touch.

They just signed Hayward, also a Butler product. He arrived a year after you, but as an alum, do you have any kind of relationship with him?

I never talked to him much, but I got to see him coming in. When they were coming out [to Butler], I was going to NBA workouts, going city to city to city. I actually got to stay there for about four days, so I watched the guys play over at the gym. I saw that first open gym, I came and told him [Stevens] in the office, “Hayward is a pro. Good job.” I told him that. You could just see it.

You’ve had a few stints in summer leagues over the years. What was that like as a guy who’s just trying to show people what he can do? You were with the Sixers when they had Evan Turner as a rookie and they’re trying to gear him up for the season. What was the kind of dynamic like being on the team? 

You kind of take it for what it’s worth. There’s not a big chance you’re gonna make the team, unless you just go out there and do something outstanding. But you’re not in a position to do something outstanding, because it’s set up for guys like their draft picks, the Evan Turners, you know. But it’s a good experience, man. You go there, you work out and use their facility. You get to interview in front of all the teams. You got Europe teams, you got China, you got all the NBA teams. So it’s pretty much an interview process. It’s a pretty good process.

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