Denver Nuggets forward Jeff Green sees it as better late than never.

The 15-year pro has developed into a veteran leader for the Nuggets in their run to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. But leadership, especially speaking up on certain matters, never came naturally to Green.

But after playing for 11 different organizations in his career, the 36-year-old Green picked up the tips and tricks of the trade from elder statesmen, a position he now holds with the Nuggets. And Green, who was initially drafted by the Celtics and spent parts of four seasons with Boston a decade ago, credited Kevin Garnett for having the biggest impact on becoming more vocal.

“When I was with Boston, I didn’t talk much. I was very quiet,” Green told reporters Saturday, per video from Clutch Points. “But now, I can’t stop talking. So, I guess to a small extent I’m like KG. I think being vocal is big. I think that’s something a player should get comfortable with when they’re younger. Unfortunately, I didn’t get comfortable with that until I was older, of letting my voice be heard on things that I see.

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“(Garnett) used to tell me all the time, ‘You got to speak up. You got to talk, you got to talk continually. You got to talk.’ I hear him, but being comfortable in that situation of doing it is tough to step out your comfort zone. I didn’t realize that until late. I wish that was something I did earlier. He’s one that sticks out because that’s something I should have started earlier. I think it would have helped me out along the way to this point.”

Garnett certainly is happy his advice proved beneficial to Green and wants his former teammate to end this season with a ring on his finger.

“Much love @unclejeffgreen,” Garnett tweeted Sunday. “Go get you one!”

After bouncing around the league for several seasons, Green spent the last two seasons with the Nuggets. He averaged 7.8 points per game in 54 regular-season contests and notched four points off the bench in 11 minutes in Denver’s Game 1 Finals win over the Miami Heat.

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While Green isn’t providing a ton on the court, voicing his leadership and experience is still a plus for Denver. And the Nuggets have Garnett in part to thank for that.

Featured image via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images