With the Houston Rockets season-ending over a month ago and now that we passed the NBA draft lottery, information about the Rockets will be hard to come by until we get to the draft. However, we got a very interesting interview from Jalen Green, who discussed several topics on the Podcast P show on Monday. Here are a few of the highlights from the interview.
Jalen Green on a possible James Harden return
One of the biggest off-season stories so far has been the possible return of James Harden to the Rockets. Story after story have the Rockets and Harden interested in a reunion. So it was no surprise that Paul George brought this up during the interview.
Not only did he bring it up, but he made this statement as well. "I feel like, at this point, you're the king of Houston" He would go on to say, "You bring on James, who such a ball dominated player like that is going to hinder your growth."
Green answered the question by saying.
"No, I agree," but he also said, "I think I can play both ways," about how Harden could help him in certain ways on the court.
It's not a huge surprise to hear a player coming into his third season and is the number two overall pick agreeing with what George said. Green wants to be "the guy" on the team, and even though Harden would at times make his life easier on the court, he would also take away opportunities for Green as the number one guy on the team.
He also said he has not talked to Harden about the rumors of him coming back to Houston.
Jalen Green on the one thing he missed about not going the college route
Green was also asked about his time in the G-League and what went into his decision to skip college and play for the G-League Ignite team. Green said that going to the G-League puts you one step under the NBA, making his decision easier. He also mentioned the one thing he missed about not going to college, and that was playing in March Madness.
Green stated he was close to going to Auburn to play with guard Sharife Cooper. A side note is that he would have been at the same school as his current teammate Jabari Smith even though he probably would have been one and done, which means he would have missed Smith by one year.
Green on talking with Ime Udoka this offseason
With the Rockets hiring a new head coach, the current players and the new head coach must get on the same page as soon as possible. It seems that has already started as Green spoke of reaching out to Ime Udoka and having dinner with Udoka and a few of his teammates.
"I called him on the phone and just letting him know. I am willing to do whatever it takes to win this year." He also stated, "it seems like I am going to be able to relate to him."
That is a great beginning. As Green said, they didn't talk hoops; they just got to know each other. The best part of Green's statement is him saying I am willing to do whatever it takes to win. That is something you want to hear out of your franchise player.
As many have pointed out all year, the Rockets are looking to move to phase two and start winning more consistently. So it was good to hear Green talk about wanting to win and how he is already beginning a good relationship with Udoka before the season starts. We will see, of course, how all this plays out in a few months when the 2023-24 season kicks off.