Jalen Green says he feels like a sophomore in NBA thanks to G League stint
MANILA, Philippines – Houston Rockets rookie Jalen Green believes there won't be too many surprises for him when he makes his NBA regular season debut later this year.
Because unlike most of his fellow rookies in the 2021 draft class, Green has already had a taste of professional ball in the NBA level.
"I kinda feel like I'm already in my second year," said Green, who was drafted second overall after a year with the NBA G League Ignite, during the Houston Rockets' media day on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).
"I know KJ [Martin Jr.] who's in his second year… he kinda says he a vet and I kinda feel like I'm a vet too in a way. But I think I'm a different rookie, for sure," he added.
Green was the biggest name out of high school who went to G League Ignite, a new professional pathway to the NBA which previously included Philippine prospect Kai Sotto.
Also drafted alongside Green was Jonathan Kuminga who went to Golden State for the seventh overall pick.
Isaiah Todd was also selected in the second round.
Green, whose mother traces her roots to Ilocos Sur, posted norms of 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in his one season with Ignite.
He said his experience, which helped Ignite reach the NBA G League payoffs, will make him a different breed from his fellow youngsters.
And while he already feels like a vet with his stint in the pros, the 19-year-old still plans on bringing home the hardware for the best first year player in the league.
"That's the goal already as it is, to get rookie of the year," said Green.
"But I mean, the fact that I didn't go No. 1 that's motivation still," he added.
Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham was drafted first by the Detroit Pistons.
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