Rockets’ Jalen Green, Bill Simmons clear the air on podcast

The six-week Jalen Green-Bill Simmons saga apparently came to an end Tuesday morning with the Rockets rookie hopping on The Bill Simmons Podcast for a 37-minute interview in which the two mainly just talked about basketball, but they briefly touched on Simmons’ remark that got the whole thing started.

After a regular season in which Green was the second-leading rookie scorer in the league at 17.3 points per game, Simmons explained why he voted for the Pelicans’ Herb Jones (9.5 points per game) on his All-Rookie Team over Green, but his diatribe included him saying, “F— Jalen Green.” He later added, “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.”

When Green made the All-Rookie Team over Jones, he sarcastically shouted out Simmons on Twitter.

“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 on his podcast, which was posted in the early morning hours Tuesday. “But, everybody’s going to talk, 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 .”

Simmons never apologized, insisting his “F— Jalen Green” remark was all said in jest, and if you go back and listen to the original podcast, you can see “the facts were on my side.” However, he said he knows people who are close to Green and they all told him he’d like Green and he should invite him on his podcast.

“We’re cool. I’m on your team,” Simmons said.

The entire conversation was cordial with the two mainly talking hoops, which was perfect for Green, who said near the end of the interview, “I’m glad we got to get on and talk about that.”

Simmons also might have won Rockets fans over when the two talked a bit about basketball history and he called Hakeem Olajuwon “the most underrated guy in the past 30 years” and said Olajuwon and the Rockets would have still won at least one of those 1990s titles even if Michael Jordan never briefly walked away from the game.

The Rockets, who have the No. 3 pick in next month’s draft, will be looking to continue to build around Green, who told Simmons his goal for next year is to be an All-Star and average between 20 and 25 points per game. This year’s draft has a clear-cut top three picks in Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr., Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero. Green, who is the same age as Holmgren and Banchero and just a year older than Smith, said the Rockets have asked him for his thoughts on the top players.

“We got the third pick, there’s three great players that’s coming out,” Green said. “…Let’s build, come on.”

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