Photo from PBA and Chooks-to-Go PilipinasTHE YOUNG89
Jeffrey Cariaso sees the young Kobe Bryant in Jalen Green
by Niel Victor Masoy, May 29, 2020 4:31pm
Alaska Aces head coach Jeffrey Cariaso is a firm believer of Jalen Green's talent so much so that he sees the young Kobe Bryant in the 18-year-old Filipino-American.
"This kid is an athlete. This kid can play. He reminds me of that young Kobe a little bit where he can do everything," said Cariaso of Green in the recent episode of the NBA Philippines Republika Huddle.
It isn't that surprising why Cariaso and even most basketball fans see the 18-year-old Green in the mold of the young Bryant, who passed away four months ago.
He was 41.
At an early age, both players are extremely talented and athletic that most people believe that they can play in the NBA straight out of high school.
Bryant did take that route, skipping collegiate basketball as he went on to become one of the best players in NBA history.
As for Green, he's taking the new NBA G-League professional pathway program in preparation for the big league.
The 6-foot-5 Green is set to play for the new G-League Select Team which thrust is to develop elite players who hope to make the NBA. Green was the first to take the path followed by Daishen Nix, Isaiah Todd, and the Philippines' very own Kai Sotto.
For Cariaso, that Green deciding to skip college and use the G-League as a path to the NBA is just what the doctor ordered, saying the phenom is already miles ahead of the players of his age and he needs to join a stiffer competition to further improve, and make himself more NBA ready.
"At his age level, he's really in an elite level amongst his peers and you know that he's not gonna learn anything with his current status if he stays where he is, playing with the thin guys," said Cariaso of Green, who graced the Philippines with his tremendous talent in the 2018 and 2019 NBTC events at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"He's skill set is already that good where he needs to kinda up the level to make his game improve also. So I kind a see him as the young Kobe or the young Garnet a little bit where the talent level is there.
"It's really now about his growth and improving in every aspect but when you watch him, he's athletic, he can shoot, he's a defender, his energy, that non-stop."
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel head coach Tim Cone, who joined Cariaso in the said podcast, believes that the G-League will only make Green better.
"He's one of those guys that can probably go right from high school into a pro game but being in the G-League is gonna make him even more prepared," remarked the winningest coach in the PBA.
"They're gonna prepare him. He's gonna know what the players are gonna be like. You can't sneeze on the G-League, the G-League has tremendous talent and they got some really good coaching."
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