The Houston Rockets found their franchise player almost as quickly as they lost it. Following the trade of James Harden, the Rockets, for the first time in nearly a decade, were without a franchise player.
All it took was one draft to find their next superstar when they selected Jalen Green with the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft. Green endured a slow start to his NBA career and a much-maligned slam dunk contest showing before starring in the second half of the season.
Over Green’s final seven games, he scored 30 or more points six times and finished the season with 41 points, a career-high, against the Atlanta Hawks. In his first NBA offseason, he embarked on a tour of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. Green is the third-ever NBA player of Filipino descent. These are a few highlights from Jalen Green’s Manila tour.
Jalen Green Finally Gets His Number
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Jalen Green explained how he tried to buy the number four from Danuel House his rookie season. When House told him it was off limits, he decided to go with zero, saying, “If I don’t have my number, I don’t want no number.”
Green showed his love and respect for House, saying, “he’s like my big brother,” and with House’s mid-season move to the Utah Jazz, the number four finally opened up for Green.
Jalen Green Drafts His All-Time Starting Five
In a quick TikTok video, Green and Andrei Felix go back and forth drafting their all-time starting five. Starting with point guard and working up to center, Green selected Kyrie Irving, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kevin Durant, and Wilt Chamberlain. Felix also built a strong squad, selecting Stephen Curry, Allen Iverson, Magic Johnson, LeBron James, and Shaquille O’Neal. With selections like that, Green might have a second career in an NBA front office.
Jalen Green Helps Grow the Rockets Globally
Jalen Green, in his short career, has captivated the city of Houston and the entirety of the Philippines. His tour of Manila should only further ingratiate himself to the nation of nearly 110 million people. The Rockets, with Yao Ming, Hakeem Olajuwon, and now Jalen Green, have grown their fanbase in East Asia and Africa tremendously. Throw in Alperen Sengun and his rabid Turkish following, and the Rockets are well on their way to becoming the world’s team.