Bill Simmons has been known for making some comments that rub people the wrong way, but saying he doesn't care about Rockets rookie Jalen Green is a mistake.
As the Houston Rockets enter the offseason and prepare to address the next missing pieces through the 2022 NBA Draft, it was bound to happen that the team would start catching strays from the media. We just didn't think it would be about Jalen Green.
Look, we get it. The Rockets were the worst team in basketball this season. Twenty wins is a tough pill to swallow, but there are plenty of things to be excited about, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Anyone who doesn't see the potential of Green, some of these pieces, and a lottery pick isn't paying attention. Or, that person happens to be Bill Simmons.
Simmons is on the record saying "F-" Jalen Green" during one of his recent podcasts when discussing rookies across the league. The statement reads rather poorly, and while the tone of the conversation clearly matters to some degree as it was a joke, the dismissive nature of Simmons towards Green is still concerning.
Contrary to what Simmons might think, Green is making a name for himself as one of the best rookies in the NBA. 17/3/2 on 43% shooting is nothing to scoff at, especially when the pieces on that Houston team go from mediocre to unreliable at best. Thirty-two minutes as the best player on a bad team can be a lot for a young player, but Green didn't let that stop him.
The star rookie for Houston saw steady growth through each month in the league, finishing the year averaging nearly 21/3/3 on 48% in March and 28/4/3 on 49% in April.
There were a few shaky months at the start, but Green was even able to salvage his three point percentage while averaging 38% or more from February on. It takes time to get comfortable, and Green clearly felt comfortable towards the end of the season.
All of this is to say that Simmons dismissing Green due to the poor overall performance by the Rockets is unfair. The way that the statement was delivered could've been better, but the true issue comes from using wins and losses as a way to judge a player's value.
Simmons is well-versed enough on the topic to find plenty of other ways to argue his point without falling on an archaic tool for getting his point across, even if it is the wrong point.
As Bill Simmons is going to learn, there are a whole lot of reasons to care about Jalen Green and what he is doing, and by the time he realizes this it will be too late.