Gilbert Arenas and Ryan Hollins defend Rockets’ Jalen Green after Bill Simmons comments

Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas and former NBA veteran – and current Rockets broadcaster – Ryan Hollins defended Rockets rookie Jalen Green weeks after The Ringer’s Bill Simmons said, “F— Jalen Green” when explaining why he wouldn’t vote for him on the All-Rookie team.

“We had a certain member of the media, who never jumped in his life,” Johnson begins, and later breaks down Simmons’ comments for Arenas, explaining that Simmons is like Harry Potter’s Voldemort, “We don’t recognize not” the name.


After saying “F— Jalen Green”, Simmons said he liked Pelicans rookie Herb Jones more than Green, because “I like winning players, I’m sorry”. Jones and the Pelicans went 36-46 and are currently tied with the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in their first-round playoff series. The Rockets finished bottom of the league at 20-62.

“It’s bad etiquette: he’s not playing ‘winning basketball’. Who does, at 19, on a sorry team?,” Arenas said. win. I need them to evolve. He needs to learn. That’s why it’s a bad tag, because the reason we play them is so they can learn. I need them learn how to win. Go up 20, they come back, I’m not replacing it. Learn how to win. That was their goal this year. Learn how to win, understand how to win, understand how to lose and the process of all that. So, when you try to judge these teams that are feeding the bottom right now with their young players, you can’t. It’s like a trial. Let me see what I got.

Hollins, who just wrapped up his first season as a Rockets broadcaster, echoed those sentiments and said he’s seen a lot of improvement from Green, who just turned 20 in February.

“On the one hand, know the direction of the organization you see, because the choice was to give these young people a chance to develop and play. A++ for development, because these young guys played and had opportunities that they wouldn’t have,” Hollins said. “Then you have to look at the situation where Jalen is 19, bro. He was playing AAU ball less than two years ago, you know? He must have taken these pieces. When Jalen Green gets it, I would challenge anyone who feels that way to watch the games. Jalen Green has become a better defender. He learned to play basketball and he started to learn how to use his speed.

Hollins says Green is the fastest player in the league and one of the best jumpers, but he didn’t know how to use those attributes at the start of the season. He said he saw Green work hard and become the player the Rockets thought they would get when they drafted him No. 2 overall last summer.

“As to saying Jalen is not a winner, I disagree with that narrative and it’s not just because I work for the Rockets,” Hollins said. “I watch this kid get mad because he gets beat up and I watch him grow defensively, turn on the big guys, challenge, fight and move up front. So I see basketball winning in Jalen and I would challenge anyone who feels that way to go watch Rockets basketball and then break it down, because I’ve seen every game.

Green was the second-leading scorer among rookies, averaging 17.3 points per game, just behind No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, who averaged 17.4 with the Pistons. Green closed strong, scoring at least 30 points in six of the Rockets’ last seven games, including a 41-point outing in the regular-season finale.



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