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‘He could play tomorrow’: Leading trainer says Australian is ready for the NBA

Since June, Green has been training full-time at IMPACT Basketball in Las Vegas under the eye of veteran NBA trainer Joe Abunassar, who has worked with NBA champions such as Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, Kyle Lowry and Fred Van Vleet during his 24-year career.

Most draftees spent six to eight weeks with a trainer in the lead-up to the NBA draft, which is usually held each June. But the delay in the NBA season meant it has been pushed back to Thursday, ahead of the new season starting on December 23 (AEDT).

‘He is a thick kid anyway. He has big quads and he could play football – either American or Australian.’

Abunassar praised Green’s dedication and athleticism.

“I personally think that Josh Green could play in a game tomorrow because he can guard, he can really defend and he is strong,” Abunassar said.

“As I know from 24 years of doing this, most young guys are going to get their minutes from playing defence.

“I believe Josh can defend on the ball and off the ball, he can make open shots, which is critical in the NBA today, and he can finish in transition.

“Those three things will make him an NBA-ready guard and then other things will come.”

Australian NBA Draft hopeful Josh Green (right) speaks with trainer Joe Abunassar at IMPACT Basketball in Las Vegas.

Australian NBA Draft hopeful Josh Green (right) speaks with trainer Joe Abunassar at IMPACT Basketball in Las Vegas.Credit:Emil Vajgrt

Green has had the chance to either train or speak with a host of NBA players during his five and a half month stint at IMPACT.

“I had Chauncey Billups in the gym who came and watched Josh and visit with him,” Abunassar said.

“Chauncey had a big body like Josh does so he could talk to him about being able to create space to get around guys. Josh just soaked that up.

“Ty Lue, he can’t be in the gym now he is LA Clippers coach, but before that he was able to come in and out and Josh was able to learn from him as well.”

Green has taken the path less travelled to the NBA. He moved to the US as a high school student, where he trained at the IMG Academy before spending this past season at the University of Arizona then declaring for the draft.

Basketball Australia have attempted to bring Green into the national team fold in recent years but injury and timing prevented this from happening.

“Josh is a tremendous athlete, very strong, very explosive. We fine-tuned his nutrition a tremendous amount and most importantly we fine-tuned his game to where I feel he is now an NBA level two-guard,” Abunassar said.

“He didn’t need a body transformation, he’s already a strong kid and he added five to seven pounds [about three kilograms] of good muscle. He is a thick kid anyway. He has big quads and he could play football – either American or Australian.”

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