the Houston Rockets won’t be making the 2022 NBA Playoffs. However, the franchise has a decent chance of securing a postseason award or two.
Specifically, Rockets guard Jalen Green made the case for the 2021-22 All-Rookie First Team given his historic goal streak. The No. 2 overall pick last year also finished second in NBA scoring with 17.3 points per game and finished the season with a 41-point performance.
Many NBA pundits are impressed with Green’s performance and there’s strong reason to believe he’s on that top rookie team alongside Detroit’s Cade Cunningham, Cleveland’s Evan Mobley, Toronto’s Scottie Barnes and Franz Wagner from Orlando. The big question is whether or not Green will get more votes than New Orleans Pelicans forward Herb Jones, who has proven himself with solid defensive play.
You can count Bill Simmons of The Ringer as Team Jones when it comes to his vote for the NBA Awards. While discussing the All-Rookie Team on Wednesday’s episode of The Bill Simmons podcastthe host didn’t mince words about his voting stance.
“Fk Jalen Green,” Simmons said. “I don’t care if you score 40 points and your team is 19-60. Congratulations. Herb Jones is like babysitting guys in real games.
“Now the people of Houston 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 the team was 21-61 this year or whatever.
Bill Simmons saying Fuck Jalen Green. pic.twitter.com/2PVZyQjK7A
— J. Dubb (@TheMindOfJDubb) April 13, 2022
It’s worth noting that Simmons came later in the podcast to say he’s “pro-Jalen Green” and thinks he’s a good player, but not one of the top five rookies this season.
“I just didn’t think he was in the top five rookies, but we also had an iconic rookie class,” Simmons said. “I think they’re one of the best rookie classes we’ve had.”
The whole thing is less notable for the hot take than for the fact that Simmons is among the reporters and broadcasters who get an NBA Awards vote every year. And while everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, some consider it bad taste for a voter to offer such a demeaning review of an NBA player when you have that kind of authority.
These post-season rewards often feature in players’ contract incentives as well, which makes commentary a bit nasty given their potential financial impact.
It’s not the same, but NFL reporter Hub Arkash got himself in hot water last season when he said he wouldn’t vote Aaron Rodgers for MVP because the quarterback -rear is the “biggest fool”. And while there were certainly plenty of people who didn’t appreciate Rodgers’ comments off the pitch, many didn’t sit well with Arkash publicly casting his vote in this way.
There was a strong reaction to Simmons’ comments on social media and The Ringer founder even took to Twitter to defend himself.
I don’t want to get my beads together here, but what Bill Simmons said about Jalen Green seems to cross the line, especially when you’re getting voted on for postseason awards by the NBA. https://t.co/zLZViCPX1G Going through @chron
— Matt Young (@Chron_MattYoung) April 13, 2022
First of all, I normally don’t care what Bill Simmons has to say, but the guy actually has a vote. This is the problem. The number of wins should not be a primary factor in judging rookies. I guarantee Herb Jones is not the main reason New Orleans is winning this year pic.twitter.com/tq7MC5bcXE
— Lachard Binkley (@BinkleyHoops) April 13, 2022
It’s ridiculous. I think we laughed for 80% of that. My point was this: I always lean towards a rookie like Herb Jones contributing significantly to a decent team versus someone posting stats on a bad team. Jalen is going to be excellent. https://t.co/D4LEmDF2ae
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 13, 2022
“My point was: I always lean towards a rookie like Herb Jones who contributed significantly to a decent team versus someone who had stats on a bad team,” Simmons wrote. “Jalen is going to be excellent.”
For the record, Cade Cunningham, who will no doubt be part of the All-Rookie First Team, plays for a team that has won 22 games this season. We’re guessing that didn’t factor into Simmons’ vote, though. So perhaps some additional clarification may be needed, although it will probably make little difference to Rockets fans.