Remembering Lakers great, and least Showtime-y Lakers player of the Showtime Era, A.C. Green
A star at Oregon State, and the Lakers 23rd overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft, A.C. Green was a rebounding powerhouse for the Showtime Lakers. Other than winning Championships, he is famous for two primary reasons. One, he is known as basketball’s Iron Man, having played in 1,192 consecutive basketball games. Two, as a born-again Christian, he famously remained a virgin throughout his successful career.
A.C. Green grew up in a religious household in Portland. He converted to Christianity in high school, and elected to abstain from sex until marriage. Amidst the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the Showtime Lakers weren’t having it. Players offered him money, sent women to his hotel rooms, and did other various things to orchestrate the act, but there was no shaking A.C. Members of the team would go out at night, and invite the likable Green, but he would respectfully decline and state that he was praying for his teammates’ collective safety.
Jerry West described A.C. Green as one of the nicest and most polite young players he had even been around. But he was not polite on the basketball court. In an era when basketball was more physical, he rebounded, and hit players hard. According to Green, he played in a manner that his religion predicated, as a quiet leader that would not back-down.
As a member of the Showtime Lakers, he won a Championship in 1989, was an All-Star in 1990, and won his second Championship in 1991. He eventually returned to Los Angeles in 1999, played all 82 games, and won his third and final Championship. He also spent time with the Mavericks, Suns, and the Heat.
The NBA’s Iron Man never missed a game in sixteen seasons. This blue-collar approach won over fans for years. Basketball players now take voluntary DNP’s (Did Not Play) in inconsequential games due to “Load Management.” A.C. Green wasn’t having that, and his dedication to his craft should be continually admired.
And yes, two years after his retirement he got married, and did the dirty deed.