Phoenix Suns’ Gerald Green dips into wallet to aid teammate
PHOENIX — True to his word, Gerald Green will provide some financial assistance to his teammate who was fined by the NBA for their role in the dustup with the Lakers earlier in the week.
The teammate, however, isn’t Alex Len.
“He said (he would) before he knew how much the fine was,” Len joked.
Green had pledged after the game Wednesday that he would “take care” of whatever fine the rookie center received after being ejected for his flagrant foul 2 against the Los Angeles Lakers’ Nick Young.
Thursday, the league fined Len $15,000.
Marcus Morris was also hit with a fine, docked $25,000 for “escalating the altercation.” Morris, coming to the defense of his teammate, twice pushed Young, who took exception to the hard foul and shoved Len.
“I don’t think nobody expected for (Morris) to get penalized more than anybody,” said Green, who called the fine amount “surprising” following shootaround Friday.
That’s why Green, now in his seventh season, is choosing to now help out Morris rather than Len.
“I talked to the rookie,” Green said. “I didn’t know Marcus was getting penalized like that. So, the rookie was like, ‘You know what? It’s OK. I’ll take care of mine.’ I’m just going to probably help out Marcus with his. I kind of felt like Marcus was over-penalized for what happened, but the league makes decisions that you just can’t override. Got to just go with it. As a teammate I’m going to help him out. I’m going to help out Marcus.”
Green and Len are both making $3.5 million this season compared to Morris’ $2.1 million salary.
Len, by the way, said he was not worried he might have received a suspension in addition to a fine.
“The NBA did what it had to do,” he said. “I mean obviously it wasn’t the right play. I fouled him hard, but I was just trying to block his shot. I didn’t mean to hit him the face. I got to learn from this and just moving forward just got to be more careful.”
Just to be in that position, on the floor, was another positive step forward for Len.
He has nine points and 17 rebounds in 35 minutes in the six games since returning after the team shut him down for more than a month for treatment on his surgically repaired left ankle.
“I’m excited,” he said. “Be back and just practicing with the team; just kind of feel like a part of the team. Before I was like kind of on the side. Standing and watching from the side it hurts. Right now I’m just happy to be back with the team.”
A team that supported him Wednesday, and supports each other when needed.
“I appreciate my teammates,” he said. “Everybody stood up for me. Nick Young made a comment that nobody stood up for him. I was really like glad that guys got my back.”