Jalen Green Says He 'Didn't Want to Be in Detroit' Despite Wanting to Be No. 1 Pick

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 16, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 14: Jalen Green #0 of the Houston Rockets poses for a portrait during the 2021 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot on August 14, 2021 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Jalen Green wasn't picked No. 1 overall in the 2021 NBA draft, but he says he is happy he ended up going second overall to the Houston Rockets.

"I wanted to be the No. 1 pick, but as for the location, I didn't want to be in Detroit," Green told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. "I felt a lot more comfortable in Houston. It felt like a real homie environment. With Detroit, it felt like I was just going back to the G League bubble, and I just got out of the bubble. That’s pretty much what it was."

Green bypassed college and instead spent last season with the G League Ignite, which played a 15-game season inside a bubble in Florida amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He compared this to the lack of excitement in Detroit.

"I wouldn’t be stepping outside in Detroit. There are not many things you can do in Detroit like that," Green added. "You’re going to stay in the gym and then go back to your apartment."

The 19-year-old visited both Detroit and Houston for workouts ahead of the 2021 NBA draft.

Of course, the recent comments could simply be a way to get back at the franchise that passed on him to select Cade Cunningham No. 1 overall.

Before the draft, Green indicated he was hoping to go to the Pistons. 

"Number one pick, that would be a dream come true," he told Tyler R. Tynes of GQ. "I want to live in Detroit."

He ended up in Houston and will now try to prove that Detroit made a mistake by not selecting him.

Green scored 25 points in a Summer League win over the Pistons and averaged 20.3 points per game during three exhibition appearances. He showcased this scoring ability last year in the G League, averaging 17.9 points in 15 games.

The 6'6" guard will hope to keep this going while helping a Rockets team that finished 17-55 last season.