Donte Greene's Twitterfeed is all gumdrops and honeysuckle. The words of a guy who seemingly has it all and is living the good life. But as we learned a few weeks ago, Donte has regrets. And as he continues to struggle in Summer League this season, Greene is letting those regrets get the better of him.
As the Kings' summer league action continued Saturday, the second-year small forward resumed his latest version of that tale. He is a young man with much to prove in his basketball life, regretful for turning pro after one season at Syracuse and yearning in vain for a chance to do it all over again.
Instead, his former Orange teammates made a Sweet 16 appearance without him while Greene had a terrible rookie season and the Kings endured their worst campaign ever. Greene's electric smile and well-known humor remained for most of the experience, but the pain of it all hurt him underneath.
Donte talks about his his expectations as a member of the Houston Rockets were high and he was excited to be a part of a contender. But that excitement turned to frustration when he was traded to the rebuilding Kings. That he could barely scrape out any playing time for such a bad team made things even more unbearable. Donte now spends much of his time wondering what could have been had he stayed in school just one more year:
"I'm thinking, maybe I could've won a national championship this year. Then you look at the draft. And no disrespect to players who came out this year, but I feel like I could've been right there. As they say, it was a weak draft, and I could've been right there with (Clippers' No. 1 pick) Blake (Griffin), and (Kings' No. 4 pick) Tyreke (Evans) and (Memphis' No. 2 pick Hasheem) Thabeet and all those guys. It was just tough..."
Things don't seem to be getting any better for Donte. He's played less and less minutes as Summer League has gone on and isn't putting up impressive numbers. If he keeps this up, he's probably going to get passed over in the rotation by rookie Omri Casspi. And of course there's the issue of "maturity" like the revenge prank he pulled on Bobby Jackson during the season (though to be fair, Jackson pulled a prank first). More of a media-generated issue but one that Kings' brass will have in the back of their minds nonetheless.
Things could be much worse for Greene. He's still rich and plays basketball for a living. It's understandable that Donte is bummed that his career hasn't turned out the way he planned. Also, there should be more than a little bit of concern given to the fact that Donte has apparently attempted suicide before and has dealt with depression throughout his life. But hopefully Greene is able to get something out of his time with the Kings and either reinvent himself or get a fresh start elsewhere.
First step back on the road to glory? Shave.