The consensus is that Ben Simmons is the best rookie in the NBA, and he wants us to know that he also believes that.
Through 37 games, Ben Simmons is averaging 16.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.9 steals for the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s second in scoring to Donovan Mitchell but offsets that by leading in rebounds, assists and steals. If the season were to end today, he’d be the favorite to take home the Rookie of the Year award.
Simmons’ scintillating season has made him must-watch, and his play has him on the cusp of making the All-Star team. Last Thursday, when the NBA announced the tally from the fan votes, the 21-year-old received the fourth-most votes among Eastern Conference guards with 210,085. He trailed Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan and Victor Oladipo, but was ahead of guys like John Wall, Kyle Lowry and Bradley Beal.
Since the start of the millennium, only two players have made the All-Star team in their first-year — Blake Griffin in 2011 and Yao Ming in 2003.
“I want to be an All-Star honestly so if I’m an All-Star, I’d feel like rookie of the year,” said Simmons, according to Omnisport. “I don’t really look into that too much. I know I’m the best rookie in the league.”
The Sixers have had a solid start to the season and are 19-19 heading into their game on Thursday against the Boston Celtics. Team success isn’t a huge variable in the All-Star process, but it helps when your team is playing well.
Should Ben Simmons continue at this pace, he’ll become the 11th rookie in NBA history to average 15 points, five rebounds and five assists during his first year. Let’s take that a bit further. If he ends this campaign with the same numbers he has now, he’ll make history and be the lone rookie to finish a season with averages eclipsing 16 points, eight boards and seven dimes.
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