Greene, Dorsey land in Houston

June 28, 2008|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,Sun reporter

After a late-night flurry of trading during the NBA draft, Donte Greene and Joey Dorsey, who both played at Baltimore-area high schools, ended up as teammates on the Houston Rockets.

Greene, a 6-foot-10 forward with a silky jumper, was selected 28th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies. Dorsey, a rugged interior defender, went 33rd to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Rockets obtained both in a three-team swap that also involved first-round picks Darrell Arthur and Nicholas Batum.

During an introductory news conference yesterday in Houston, Greene said his whole draft party erupted with cheers when Dorsey was picked just after him.

"You feel lucky, not only to go somewhere where you have a chance to play but to have a familiar face around," said the former Towson Catholic player.

"I'm just grateful to be here," said Dorsey, who played at Douglass. "Playing alongside [Tracy McGrady] and Yao Ming, that's crazy."

He talked about coming from a tough neighborhood in Baltimore. "I wanted to walk across that stage so bad," he said of draft night in New York.

Dorsey later had Houston reporters cracking up with blunt yet humorous statements. He described his style of play as "Ray Lewis with a basketball" and said of Houston's draft, "I give it an A."

Though they ended up in the same draft class, Greene and Dorsey followed very different routes to the draft Thursday night.

The Sun named Greene first-team All-Metro in 2007, and he was considered a big-time recruit for Syracuse. Though he struggled with shot selection - he shot .418 with the Orange - he led the team in scoring and was considered likely to test the NBA waters after one season. He ultimately dropped further in the first round than many draft experts projected.

"He has a lot of talent to get where we got him," Rockets general manager Daryl Morley said.

Morley added that Greene will probably struggle to crack the veteran rotation in Houston next season.

Dorsey helped lead Douglass to an undefeated season in 2001-02 but was regarded as a rawer player than Greene. He landed at two prep schools before committing to Memphis and playing four years there. As a senior, he provided the inside muscle for a squad that came within seconds of winning the national title against Kansas.

At 24, he's four years older than Greene.

Many scouts have compared Dorsey, at 6-9 and 265 pounds, to Cleveland Cavaliers center Ben Wallace, who became a star through rebounding and defense. He has modeled his game on tapes of former Detroit Pistons greats Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer. Morley called him the best defensive player on the best defensive team in college basketball last season.

"He's someone who can make an impact right away," the general manager said.

childs.walker@baltsun.com

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