Jalen Green reminds Bill Simmons of young Kobe Bryant: ‘What kinda move or shot doesn’t he have?’

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

He may be planets away from reaching the heights that Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant did, but Houston Rockets youngster Jalen Green reminds at least one NBA analyst of a young Bryant.

The Ringer’s Bill Simmons gently made the comparison during a recent episode of his podcast.

“I’m gonna say this very carefully, and I know what’s at stake, and I know he’s not gonna be this person, but when I watch him, he reminds me — this version of the attacking the rim and then the jump shooting — reminds me a little of young Kobe,” Simmons said. “Not like three-rings-in-a-row Kobe, but that late ’90s Kobe, where it was like, ‘Man, there’s a lot here. What’s goin’ on here?’ And watching him the last couple weeks, it’s like, man, if you were just drawing a 2-guard from scratch, from a scoring standpoint, what kinda move or shot doesn’t he have?”

Green’s NBA career has been inconsistent at times, but he has shown flashes of major potential. The former No. 2 overall pick just finished a week in which he had some monster scoring performances, including a 42-point game and a 41-point game.

Over his last 12 appearances, he’s averaging 28.3 points per game, and over his last five, he’s averaging 34.4 points per contest.

Green is in his third season in the league, and he’s only 22 years old, so there’s still plenty of time for him to turn his potential into gold. But efficiency is a department that he’ll need to work on, as he holds career shooting clips of 42.2 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from deep. His shooting marks are similar this season.

From a scoring standpoint, the youngster is averaging 19.5 points per game this season, which is similar to his career mark of 19.7 points per contest.

Over Bryant’s first three NBA seasons, he averaged 13.8 points per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from 3-point range. He wasn’t as polished at that stage of his career as he ultimately ended up being, but he still earned an All-Star nod and All-NBA nod over his first three seasons in the league.

Bryant, of course, retired with 18 All-Star selections, 15 All-NBA nods, five NBA titles, two scoring titles and an MVP award.

Green is still in search of some accolades at the NBA level. He did earn All-Rookie honors in his debut season (as Bryant did), but he’s undoubtedly hungry for more.

The Rockets are surging late in the 2023-24 season, and they’re suddenly in the mix for a play-in spot in the Western Conference. Houston is 35-35 and just one game back of the No. 10 seed. Getting there is likely on Green’s mind right now.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.