Jeff Green remembers his first steps. He remembers the pain of those few tentative steps, then how out of breath he was when he finally cracked the imposing 10-step barrier. Every moment and milestone of his recovery is seared into his brain as part of what he calls the "wonderful journey" that he is still living through. The key word there is "living." One year to day after he woke up in a hospital bed after surgery to fix an aortic aneurysm, Green led the Celtics' tone-setting bench unit in an 87-79 win over the Phoenix Suns. The Celtics would not have won on Wednesday without that bench. The bench would not have been as explosive without Green. And Green would not have been there if not for the expert work of his doctors, the support of his friends and family, and his own indomitable will. He tried to talk about his emotions before the game, but his words came out sounding cliché. The only time he broke his monotone was in joking about Jared Sullinger's penchant for getting, ahem, mistreated by the referees, asserting that Sullinger, as a rookie, did not deserve to get any calls. Once the game was over, though, Green needed to say very little to make it clear how much the day meant to him. "I can't put into words how it feels," Green said, his voice swelling in a way that does not translate effectively into text. "It's a wonderful day. I had a good game. I'm just glad to be here. I reflect a lot about what I've been through. It's a blessing just to be here, so I'm just happy." A locker away, Jason Terry sat in awe of his teammate, who is almost a decade younger but has seen far more than most 26-year-olds. Terry calls him "Iron Man," after the superhero with shrapnel in his heart and a hole in his chest, and the Tony Stark of Cheverly, Md., soared for three dunks on the anniversary of the most grueling day of his life. "What a way to celebrate," Terry said. "It's still amazing just to see him out there on the floor, playing the way he is, because any moment he can get hit in the chest or anything. It has to be tough for him every night."

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2013/01/jeff-green-commemorates-one-year-anniversary-of-heart-surgery-with-explosive-emotional-performance/