One of the strangest NBA-media feuds over the last while involves Spotify/The Ringer’s Bill Simmons and Houston Rockets’ guard Jalen Green. Last April, while discussing the NBA’s All-Rookie Team (which he votes on) on his podcast, Simmons went off on Green with a profane rant, saying “F Jalen Green, I don’t care you’re scoring 40 points and your team’s 19-60.”
Green shot back after that, and Simmons tried to clarify his comments a bit. But the two seemingly patched things up when Green (who did, in fact, make that All-Rookie team despite Simmons not voting for him) appeared on Simmons’ podcast in May. However, there’s now more drama out there this week, with Simmons blasting Green on a new podcast and describing the Rockets’ 2021 decision to take him second overall (ahead of Evan Mobley, who the Cleveland Cavaliers picked with the next selection) as “a borderline draft catastrophe”:
I’m very close to Jalen Green over Mobley being, like, a borderline draft catastrophe. We’re edging that way. It felt that way in the moment. It was like, ‘Man, this Jalen Green better be really good, because Mobley … I know what he is.’ That game [Cavaliers-Celtics Monday, where Mobley had 25 points and 17 rebounds] last night was really crazy.
Here’s audio of that:
Bill Simmons says he's very close to calling the #Rockets decision to draft Jalen Green over Evan Mobley a "borderline draft catastrophe." pic.twitter.com/2fHBgAHZFY
— ClutchFans (@clutchfans) March 8, 2023
This led to Green (seen above protesting a foul call on March 5) tweeting and deleting a criticism of Simmons Wednesday:
Jalen Green is sick of Bill Simmons ? pic.twitter.com/72UKJ2uBwY
— Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) March 8, 2023
It’s certainly not unreasonable for Simmons to have and state opinions on the relative merits of Green (averaging 21.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists this year, with a PER of 14.2) and Mobley (16.0, 9.0, 2.7, 17.4). “Borderline draft catastrophe” is probably a little strong, especially considering the better team Mobley is currently surrounded with. But Simmons has also rarely been known for his restraint.
But it’s also not unreasonable for Green to push back on this publicly. And it makes some sense for him to feel like he’s being repeatedly targeted by Simmons. All in all, it’s a notable continuation to that drama.
[RocketsWire; photo from Erik Williams/USA Today Sports]