A.C. Green is known as NBA’s iron man for playing in a record 1,192 straight games, a span of nearly 15 years. He once played the day after having emergency root canal surgery.
That streak ended in October 2001, when Green found himself without a contract when the season began. But another streak continued for Green -- one that might have gained him even more notoriety than his any of his achievements in basketball.
His abstinence streak.
The deeply religious Green took a vow to abstain from sexual activity and kept it throughout his NBA career, which included two championships during the Lakers’ "Showtime" era and another with L.A. in 2000, until getting married at age 38 in 2002.
Green told The Times’ Chris Erskine in 2009 that his Lakers teammates initially didn't buy into his way of life.
"But as time went on, when the guys saw some consistency to the way I was handling my life, they gradually came to accept it, to the point where some asked me to talk to sons and daughters," said Green, whose A.C. Green Youth Foundation also encourages abstinence.
Green also earned respect on the court. He played nine seasons with the Lakers (from 1985-93 and again in 1999-2000) and is 10th on the team's all-time list with 735 total games played. After a 16-year NBA career, Green is 15th overall with 1,278 games played.
An All Star in 1990, Green led the Lakers in offensive rebounds five years in a row (from 1988-93, tying Vlade Divac in 1990-91) and was in the NBA's top 10 in that category three of those years. Green was also the Lakers' leader in total rebounds three of those years.