Out of any NBA media personalities, the Ringer's Bill Simmons has always been one of the more outspoken.
Young Rockets star Jalen Green, while not known for being necessarily outspoken, isn't shy either, and has been quick to defend either himself or his teammates against negative press.
Earlier this month on an episode of the Bill Simmons Podcast, the titular host was involved in a discussion about the NBA's All-Rookie teams, expressing his displeasure with the young Rockets star being in the running.
“F–k Jalen Green,” Simmons said on the episode. “I don’t care you’re scoring 40 points and your team’s 19-60. Congratulations. Herb Jones is like guarding dudes in real games. Now, the Houston people are going to be mad at me. I’m sorry. I like winning players, I’m sorry. Jalen Green will get there, it’s just that team was 21-61 this year or whatever.”
Green quickly responded via Twitter, after being named to the NBA's All-Rookie First-Team
"Shoutout Bill Simmons my dawg fr," Green said."
Simmons later insisted that he was joking about his comments concerning Green, and attempted to explain his stance on Twitter as well.
"Congrats! I’m still rooting for you, don’t let the fake news aggregators ruin it for us. I just liked 2022 Herb Jones more for first-team which was the whole point of the joke. Excited to see what you have in store for your 2nd year, good luck."
And now, after a feud in recent weeks following Simmons's statements, Green joined the podcast, and the two have now seemingly buried the hatchet.
“When I saw it, I was like, ‘Damn, I don’t know him. What did I do to him?’ I don’t know where this is coming from,” Green told Simmons, an NBA awards voter who did not vote Green to the first team. Simmons’ initial explanation included a profane remark directed at Green.
“But, everybody’s going to talk,” Green said. “I’m used to it, seeing things like that, people talking in general. I never took it too personal. I started making a joke out of it on Twitter. Laughed about it. It’s all good.”
It should be noted, Simmons never directly apologized to Green on the podcast, though it appears the controversy between the two is now at an end.
“I’m glad we got to get on and talk about that,” Green said.
Either way, Simmons's original comments had a serious lack of foundation.
While it is true that the Rockets struggled in 2021 with a 20-62 record, few rookies involved in either the first team or the second team discussion played on teams with winning records.
Cade Cunningham's Detroit Pistons finished the year 23-59, Franz Wagner of the Orlando Magic finished 22-58, and Josh Giddey's Oklahoma City Thunder finished 24-48.
None of those three players, who are candidates for the All-Rookie team in their own right, were on winning basketball teams.
Not to mention the New Orleans Pelicans, led by rookie Herb Jones, who finished 36-46, and only made the playoffs by virtue of a weak Western Conference and the new play-in format.
Green, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, exploded onto the scene in his inaugural season, averaging 17.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 31.9 minutes in 67 regular-season games.
Green ended the year ranked second among all rookie scorers behind only Cunningham (17.4), and hit nearly 43 percent of his shots from the field, including 34 percent from three.
You can follow Matt Galatzan on Twitter @MattGalatzan
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