The NBA’s All-Rookie squads were announced on Wednesday night with little in the way of surprises. The three finalists for Rookie of the Year — Scottie Barnes, Evan Mobley, and Cade Cunningham — were all unanimous selections to the first team, with Rockets guard Jalen Green and Magic forward Franz Wagner joining them. The only two other players to receiver first team votes were Herbert Jones and Josh Giddey, who headlined those who earned second team honors.
This year’s awards race across the NBA was as heated as its been in some time, as fans, pundits, and even players argued over who should earn postseason hardware. While the MVP race was the most contentious, there were some very strong feelings about this year’s rookie class as well, both in the ROY race and All-Rookie voting.
Rather famously, while stumping for Herbert Jones to make the first team, Bill Simmons said this about Jalen Green on a podcast:
“I put [New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones] first-team All-Rookie,” Simmons said, per SI. “I put him over Jalen Green. F*ck Jalen Green. I don’t care you’re scoring 40 points and your team’s 19–60. Congratulations. I’m sorry, I like winning players.”
After All-Rookie squads were announced, Green decided to poke fun at the controversy those comments stirred up by shouting out Simmons, calling him “my dawg.”
shoutout bill simmons my dawg fr🙏🏽
— Jalen Green🤍 (@JalenGreen) May 19, 2022
Simmons, naturally, issued a response of his own insisting he likes Green as a player and that he was taken out of context when his “joke,” in his words, became fodder for Rockets fans and led to Joel Embiid pointing to that as an example of the problems with media voting on awards.
Congrats! I’m still rooting for you, don’t let the fake news aggregators ruin it for us. I just liked 2022 Herb Jones more for first-team which was the whole point of the joke. Excited to see what you have in store for your 2nd year, good luck.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 19, 2022
Green’s comments seem to be in good fun and I’m sure he has a standing invite to join Simmons, Russillo, and, like Malcolm Gladwell or something, on a future podcast episode if he’d like to talk it all out.