NBA: In sophomore season, Jalen Green to focus on 'learning how to win'

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2022 02:17 PM

Houston Rockets shooting guard Filipino-American basketball player Jalen Green meets with Ginebra forward Arvin Tolentino as part of his JG4 Manila Tour in Makati City on August 11, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Houston Rockets shooting guard Filipino-American basketball player Jalen Green meets with Ginebra forward Arvin Tolentino as part of his JG4 Manila Tour in Makati City on August 11, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- After a solid rookie year with the Houston Rockets, Filipino-American guard Jalen Green is determined to raise his game to another level as a sophomore.

Green, the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Rookie Draft, averaged 17.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game for the Rockets. He played in 67 games, and earned All-Rookie First Team honors at the end of the season.

But the Rockets had little success in the 2021-22 NBA season, slumping to a league-worst 20-62 win-loss record.

This is what Green hopes to change in his sophomore year.

"The specific parts [of my game] that I want to work on is making reads, making decisions faster, and learning how to win," Green said in a media conference on Thursday at the adidas brand center in Glorietta 3.

"We had a rough season last year. We're in a rebuilding situation, so it's about learning how to win," he added.

There were plenty of highlights for Green in his rookie season, as he displayed his superb athleticism and shot-making. For the Fil-Am guard, his best moment came against the Los Angeles Lakers in March, when he erupted for 32 points in a 139-130 overtime win.

"The Lakers game, that's a good one," Green said when asked about a highlight from his rookie year. "We beat them, and I had 30. That was a good moment."

But the 20-year-old guard wants more good moments in the coming season, even as he realizes that they are still in a rebuilding phase. The Rockets had the third pick in the recent NBA Rookie Draft, which they used to select Auburn University forward Jabari Smith Jr. They also added Tari Eason of Louisiana State University with the 17th pick. 

"My mindset is just go in and be the best version of myself, on and off the court," Green said of his goals for the coming season.

"[I want to] build a winning mentality. The thing with my team, we're very young, we're in a rebuild right now," he added. "We're trying to get everyone on the same page and grow in the right direction."

"I think it’s just trying to keep the same mindset of trying to win."

Green is in Manila for a short visit, which includes the JG4 Manila Tour with sports brand adidas. 

He met with media on Thursday morning and also had a meet-and-greet with fans. In the afternoon, he is set to visit Ayala Malls Manila Bay for a "Manila Culture Experience."

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