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Allen Iverson leads the NBA in scoring, minutes per game and field goals attempted. Willie Green leads the 76ers in patience.

Maybe that was part of the reason the Sixers selected Green as the spokesman for their initiative to gather children's books for charitable organizations. After Saturday night's 94-88 loss to Chicago, he signed about 700 autographs for fans who donated 952 books.

Green is the second-year guard who, in the words of coach Jim O'Brien, was competing for a starting position during training camp and the preseason. He has, in fact, started 20 times, and been a DNP-CD (did not play, coach's decision) 13 times. He also hasn't played really meaningful minutes since Feb. 7, when he started against New Jersey. Let the record show that he's the starter at the point any time Iverson is unavailable, but he rarely plays with Iverson.

When the Sixers acquired Chris Webber, Michael Bradley and Matt Barnes at the trade deadline, league rules dictated that all three had to go on the active roster. To clear space, Green ended up on the injured list for the mandatory five games. Since then, he has played a total of 43 minutes in the eight games for which he has been eligible, all but 13 of them coming in losses to Miami, Golden State and Toronto.

He didn't play against the Bulls, but he was as patient as ever at the postgame meet-and-greet.

"It was awesome," he said. "It just shows the dedication that the fans have. It's great when they can support you in what you're trying to do, and we were trying to demonstrate to youth the importance of reading. I didn't know exactly how big it was going to be, but once they promoted it I tried to put my heart into it."

It takes patience and concentration to sit and read. It takes patience to sit and wait for the chance to play.

"I don't think [my patience] happened because it was my nature," Green said. "I think it's something I just had to get used to, because coming up, in my struggle to get in the league, took patience.

"Things don't always come easy. It was always tough to get an edge. I basically kept a chip on my shoulder; that made me realize you're going to have to work hard for everything you get. Patience is a virtue; if you don't have patience, then you're not going to get what you want."

Green couldn't help hearing a fan at the Bulls game, winning a prize for an unrelated promotion, blurting out on the arena screens that it was time for Green to get more minutes. Should we be surprised that Green has not blown up in frustration?

"I'm waiting, too, just like everybody else is sitting there waiting," he said. "I think I should be playing. I think I'm going to have an opportunity, but it doesn't look like it's going to be right now. When the time does come, when I am in that position, I'll appreciate it even more. I'll know what it took to get there."

He can become a restricted free agent July 1. It has crossed his mind that his lack of exposure could limit the contract available to him, but he remains as patient as ever.

"My whole attitude is, wherever I am, whatever I get, it's going to be what I need," he said. "I'm a student of the game. I think people understand when somebody can play and when they can't. The Sixers know I can play; other teams know I can play... I'm a firm believer that, if I'm good at my craft, the money will come."

While he waits, he reads motivational, self-help and religious books, soaking in as much as he can. It helps him relax, focus, avoid being distracted "by problems or things going on around you."

"Just as quick as you can pick up an Xbox or a Game Boy," Willie Green said, "you can pick up a book."
 

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This is all useless. It doesn't matter if he's not getting any playing time. I think he'll be gone next year to some place that will give him a chance to shine and I have a feeling that he will do very well wherever he goes.
 

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I'm not looking forward to seeing him sign elsewhere because I know that he's going to produce as soon as he gets some minutes, it just won't be here.
 

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let him go........we dont need him wit ai here, cud we sign and trade him for someone like dikau
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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RoyWilliams said:
Whoever gives him the money will get him.
Bingo. Give him a spot on a good passing team, preferably one with a good passing big man, and he'll prosper. I'm sure where ever else he goes, teams will utilize him as a small SG.

He might be redundant with AI here, but what would we rather have Willie Green being redundant with AI, or AI playing with Aaron McKie who'll never take shots?
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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mellow-dramatik said:
let him go........we dont need him wit ai here, cud we sign and trade him for someone like dikau
I don't expect Dan Dickau to leave New Orleans anytime soon (he'll probably sign a contract in the offseason), anyway he's playing too well to come here and play five minutes a night as a backup PG.
 

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DelawareOnline - Green says free agency 'interesting'

PHILADELPHIA -- A loud roar emanated from the Wachovia Center late in the first quarter Tuesday when Willie Green entered the game, even though Allen Iverson was on the court.

For months, 76ers coach Jim O'Brien had said that he doesn't like playing Green and Iverson in the backcourt together, because the team's defense suffers.

Green has handled the lack of playing time with aplomb. But he does plan to sit down with O'Brien after the season to discuss his role for next season.

Green will be a restricted free agent, which means that the Sixers have the right to match any offer. He is making $620,000 this season, but could get a sizeable raise this summer, whether it's from the Sixers or another team.

"It's going to be an interesting summer," Green said. "My heart is in Philadelphia because they gave me a shot to play, but I want to make sure that I can have the opportunity to play. Hopefully, that's here."

Sixers president and general manager Billy King said it is his plan to keep Green - up to a point.

He said just because Green isn't playing now doesn't mean that he won't play next season. He mentioned Michael Redd with Milwaukee. The Bucks matched an offer for him two years ago, even though he was mired on their bench behind Ray Allen and Sam Cassell.

Now, of course, Redd is a star.

"It's [O'Brien's] decision," King said about Green's playing time. "But you also have to look at it as Willie is a young player who can only get better. There are a lot of guys in the league who sat for 2-3 years and then blossomed."

That doesn't do anything to placate Green for now. But he said he won't complain or talk to O'Brien about his situation.

"I know it's a blessing to be in this league," he said. "I did nothing wrong. That's just how it is this season. I try not to worry about something I can't control."
What do you think guys? Is he gone? I think he is.

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With Obie coaching the 6'er's .. Green will never develope.
He does look like someone Id love to have on my team.
Would say we'd take him.. But we have all the young talent our roster can handle..

Ever who gets Willie Green.. Will get a great pickup in my opinion.

PdP
 
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Kwisatz Haderach
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While Green said he'd come back if promised playing time, I think he's gone. He'd be perfect in a place like San Antonio working with Tim Duncan, I think he could thrive with Webber as well, but he just wouldn't get the minutes here. The comparison to Michael Redd was an interesting one, did it involve some foreshadowing from Billy King?
 
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