Houston Rockets: historical comparisons for Jalen Green #1
Ceiling: Kobe Bryant
Jalen Green wants to be compared to Kobe Bryant. Of course, Zach Lavine probably wants to be compared to Kobe Bryant too. Jason Richardson was compared to the late, great Bean early in his career, but those comparisons became less prominent as time went on. Jason Richardson had a great career, but Kobe Bryant comparisons are, to say the least, a lofty ambition.
Still, there is something about Jalen that makes the comparison irresistible. Something intangible. It’s his combination of brashness that borders on arrogance (he’ll tell anyone with a microphone that he should be selected with the first overall pick in this draft) and, reportedly, intense work ethic. The fluidity of his athleticism and his raw, underdeveloped but still somehow readily apparent skill level, is reminiscent of a young Kobe. Still, it’s something deeper than that. It might be the mamba mentality.
Nobody is saying Jalen Green is going to be as good as Kobe Bryant (besides, maybe, Jalen Green himself, and he might hold off on those comments publicly). That would be nothing short of blasphemous. Still, nobody is saying he’s going to be Jason Richardson either. Historical comparisons are arguably pointless: each of these players are individuals, they’ll each have their own careers that exist autonomously from every other career in NBA history.
They say that comparison is the thief of joy. That must say something about human nature, because we sure do love to compare. Yet there’s Jalen Green, asking people to compare him to Kobe Bryant. Joyfully. Something tells us the Mamba himself would approve.