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Jalen Green and Bill Simmons “Clear The Air”

Following Simmons’ contentious quote, these two officially bury the hatchet.

Photo by Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

As you may recall, a couple of weeks ago Bill Simmons said something on his podcast that may have rhymed with “duck Jalen Green”. This comment sparked a national conversation in regards to NBA accolades voters, such as Simmons, and how their opinions impact the players.

Now when that episode came out and that quote was plastered online, I didn’t read too much into it, because well, judge me as you may, I had already listened to that episode of Simmons’ podcast. It was a joke when he said it, and he was just trying to make the point that he favored New Orleans Pelicans’ rookie, Herb Jones, for First Team All-Rookie. However, those words were taken out of context and you should know by now how the internet can run with a narrative.

For all intents and purposes, I agree that the media needs to be more careful with how they use their words because the likelihood that these words get misconstrued in this era of trolling and public outrage is astronomical. Thankfully, Jalen Green appears largely unfazed, and he was cool enough to roll along with the punches without it becoming more than it needed to be.

I listened to today’s episode of the BS Podcast that featured Green as a guest and here are some things I took away from our budding star:

  1. Simmons suggested that he feels that the March overtime thriller versus LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers was a pivotal point for Green, to which Green agreed. This game certainly was a good one, and especially for Green, who at the time, set a career high in scoring with 32. On a side note, I was supposed to attend this game only to find out an hour before tipoff that I purchased the wrong tickets, so go figure...
  2. He spoke about how he admired his shooting guard predecessors, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, and how he tried to mirror Kobe’s post work when he was in high school. He wasn’t able to show that on the court this year, but in due time, once his body fills out, we shouldn’t be surprised to see a flash or two.
  3. He explained how he noticed how to handle double teams better as the season progressed and noted the difference in how he was guarded once his shooting started to improve in the later parts of the year.
  4. Going into the offseason, he plans on working on tightening his ball handle, catch-and-shoot threes, making reads off of the pick-and-roll, overall decision making and something he and Simmons alluded to, getting stronger. These all sound like solid foundational skills that he can improve upon going into year two.
  5. Simmons also talked to Green about his relationship with former number one overall pick, Anthony Edwards. Like Edwards, Green was originally a football player, but Green pivoted to hoops earlier from what he says. Although their play isn’t necessarily the same, I like both players and I think they’re the prototypes for wing scorers going forward. Simmons lauded not only their athleticism, but also their mentality when it comes to becoming better players.
  6. Green, who of course opted against college for the G-League, was down to Memphis or Auburn had he chosen to take the collegiate route. It’s surprising that for as high as he was ranked (it’s sort of impossible to be higher than number one) that the blue blood schools didn’t pursue him harder.
  7. As far as how he’s liking Houston, he says he’s happy with the situation and it sounds like he would have been ready to play anywhere that took him. Those are things you like to hear from young guys, because it shows that they’re focused on basketball. Another encouraging sign is that he’s been invested in this year’s playoffs, a place the Houston Rockets hope to be back in sooner than later.
  8. As for Green’s goals going into his sophomore season, he said that he aims to win more than 20 games, become an All-Star, and average 20-25 points per game. Simmons floated it out there that a 23-5-5 stat line is conceivable. For someone as talented as Green, I can’t count that out for him given the mental fortitude he’s shown early in his career.

Overall, I think both parties had a good chat and I’m glad there’s no ill feelings at the end of the day. They talked about a few more topics, but I won’t spoil the entire podcast so I encourage you to give it a listen to hear what our young star has to say. The interview starts around the 44:00 minute mark.