With the 2021 NBA Draft just around the corner, G League Ignite coach Brian Shaw heaped praises on Filipino-American star prospect Jalen Green, who is a projected top three pick in the draft on Thursday, July 29 (Friday, July 30, Manila time).
In an episode of Republika Huddle, Shaw shared his experience in coaching Green and discussed the 19-year-old basketball sensation’s similarities to the late great Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and Los Angeles Clippers superstar Paul George.
“I’ve been around some very good young players. Kobe Bryant, obviously, when he was young, Paul George, when he was young, and there’s something that those special guys have in common,” said Shaw, who played alongside Bryant for the Lakers in the early 2000s.
“Jalen has that mentality, that competitiveness, that will to win regardless of what it is,” he added.
Shaw also cited how Green never missed any practices and games for Ignite, which reminded him of Bryant’s exceptional work ethic during his playing days.
“He did not miss a single day of practice, he did not miss any games. I don’t think anybody ever beat him when we would run for conditioning in practice, I don’t think anybody ever beat him in a sprint,” said Shaw.
“And so those kinds of things remind me of, especially Kobe, in terms of competitiveness and that will.”
The 6-foot-6 high-flying guard Green certainly left a good impression on the three-time NBA champion Shaw in the recent G League season.
In 15 elimination games for Ignite, Green averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He finished the season with eight 20-plus point games and he exploded for a season-high 30 points in their quarterfinal loss to the Raptors 905.
Ahead of the highly anticipated draft on Friday, Manila time, Green, whose mother hails from Ilocos Sur, honored his Filipino roots and showed nothing but love to the basketball-loving Filipino people.
“I love the Philippines, they show me love and support,” said Green.
“I’m just happy I get to represent them and I’m happy that I have family out there, that I’m tied into the Philippines.”
“I’m excited and I hope they’re excited,” he added. – Rappler.com
Watch the NBA Draft on Friday, July 30, Manila time, on NBA TV Philippines and NBA League Pass. The NBA Draft pre-show and first round will begin at 7:30 am and 8 am, respectively.