Before the NBA Finals began, LeBron James let it be known Danny Green once was his "rook" in Cleveland.

Well, the "rook" sure has grown up.

The play of the San Antonio Spurs guard against James' Miami Heat has been the biggest surprise in the series. Green, who averaged 10.5 points and shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range in the regular season, is averaging 16.5 points and shooting a staggering 67.9 percent (19 of 28) from long range in the first four games of the Finals.

Green has come a long way from when he was a rookie on the Cavaliers in 2009-10. Green scored 40 points that entire season, a total James reached in 10 different games.

Green played just 115 minutes all season. He spent a lot more time doing chores for the veterans on the team.

"Back then, I was like the team assistant, so I did a lot of stuff," said Green, whose Spurs are tied 2-2 with the Heat entering Sunday's Game 5 at the AT&T Center. "I had to run errands for everybody, whether it was getting chargers or movies or DJ Hero from Best Buy or going to the store and getting this or that or wake up in the middle of the night and picking up their practice gear or getting Gatorades and carrying coolers."

But while one might think James was one of the ringleaders bossing around Green, that actually wasn't the case. Green said James instead "looked after me."

"I know I had to get food for him one time," Green remembered. "They'd play cards back then and during the card games, I'd get food and run an errand for some guys. ... (James) didn't have me do anything crazy. He was one of my better guys. That's why we got along so well. I looked up to him. He was one of my guys I liked to hang out with."

While James was a seven-year veteran in 2009-10, he was just 24 to start that season. Green was 22 when he showed up in Cleveland.

There were 11 players older than James who played for the Cavaliers that season. The most wily of the bunch was Shaquille O'Neal, 37 when 2009-10 got underway.

"I wasn't really the veteran on the team that made the rookies do stuff," James said. "Most of the time it was Shaq. Shaq made (Green) do everything."

Indeed it was O'Neal who kept the rookie guard very busy. The fun-loving center had a great time with the second-round pick from North Carolina who was, well, green.