Jeff Green Explains the Surprising Key to His Longevity in the NBA

Jeff Green is living proof that age is just a number, even in a profession usually reserved for younger pros. As an older NBA player, the Brooklyn Nets forward doesn’t show any signs of slowing anytime soon. Although many pro athletes boast incredibly complex, unusual daily routines to stay healthy and competitive, Green credits a surprisingly simple thing to his ongoing success.  

Who is Jeff Green? 

Jeff Green of the Brooklyn Nets warms up
NBA player Jeff Green | Will Newton/Getty Images

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Now with the Nets, Jeff Green has played for 10 different NBA teams throughout his career. The Maryland native played college basketball for the Georgetown Hoyas for three seasons. Then he entered the NBA as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007.

Although Green is on the older side for NBA players, his high level of experience playing for so many teams positions him as a leading Nets player during the 2021 season. Though he’s still receiving a below-average salary, he’s “thankful to be playing” during a season that we hope will be less bizarre than the last one, as Nets Daily reports.

Jeff Green has outlasted many NBA players

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The 34-year-old may be well past the NBA’s average age of 26, but he’s still going strong. The Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem is the league’s current oldest player at 40 years old. So we could still see Green for another five or more years.

Green has certainly experienced his share of setbacks during his NBA years, such as his open-heart surgery in 2012 to repair an aortic root aneurysm, reports NBA.com. But he isn’t one to make excuses or let challenges keep him from doing what he loves. Instead, the forward prioritizes making healthy lifestyle choices that he has credited with lengthening his time on the court.  

Jeff Green credits his healthy lifestyle with his long career

Jeff Green’s health challenges in his mid-20s forced him to make lifestyle changes to keep his professional career from fizzling out. He and his wife prioritize sticking to an extremely healthy yet surprisingly simple diet, according to GQ. He credits with keeping his overall health at a level that allows him to keep playing. 

After hitting the gym in the morning, Green enjoys a fulfilling breakfast that often consists of eggs or pancakes. He and his wife stick to simple, healthy lunches and dinners involving chicken, salmon, and vegetables. Fruits make up the majority of their snacks.

Since his wife also enjoys healthy options, keeping temptations out of the house usually isn’t a problem. Unlike many pro athletes, he isn’t one for supplements; aside from post-practice protein shakes, he prefers to get his nutrients naturally.

Staying hydrated is also a must for Green. He prioritizes drinking at least a gallon of water each day, often before noon. Though he’s also a fan of Gatorade, he always makes a point of drinking plenty of water first.     

While Green certainly isn’t a young player by NBA standards, his simple yet super-healthy diet might keep him shooting hoops longer than many others. Partnering with his wife to set and meet long-term nutritional goals shows he thinks about more than his current game.

Though we certainly hope he’ll get a raise sometime soon, we can’t wait to see what’s next for Jeff Green in the coming years.