“If you look at the numbers, you’ll see. People who know the game know.”
The numbers do speak for themselves but is Ben Simmons really a “rookie?”
I said this when Blake Griffin won Rookie of the Year, I said it when Joel Embiid was being talked about as a possible Rookie Of The Year winner and I’ll say it again when Ben Simmons wins this season’s Rookie Of The Year: If you are getting paid by a NBA team, travelling and training with NBA players, coaches and staff members, then you are a NBA player even if you never play a minute in a game. Ben Simmons had all of that season…and rookie trading cards. But, if you are going to consider the former No. 1 pick of the 2016 NBA draft a rookie, then he should win Rookie of the Year over the spectacular surprise (and former Ballislife All-American) that is Donovan Mitchell.
On Sunday, the 21-year-old Simmons led the 76ers to their 50th win of the season and 14th in a row. He’s currently averaging 16 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.7 steals a game. He has six triple-doubles in his last 15 games and has shot over 70% in his last four. He’s also the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double over 10 games. If that’s not impressive enough, the only other player in NBA history to average 15/8/8 as a rookie is triple-double king The Big O (30/10.1/9.7). If you were wondering what Magic Johnson did as a rookie, he averaged 18 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists; keep in mind Norm Nixon was the Lakers point guard and was averaging 7.8 assists during Magic’s rookie season.
If making NBA history and leading your team to their first playoff series in six seasons doesn’t deserve some postseason love and awards, then what does? And spare me the “he needs a jumpshot” talk. Listen to the latest JJ Redick podcast to hear JJ explain why Simmons doesn’t even need a jump shot to be one of the best players ever. With that said, I think Simmons should consider JJ’s recommendation of switching shooting hands.
Anyways, if for some reason he doesn’t win Rookie Of The Year, at least he can still get some love from the lovely Tinashe.
And during his interview with ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Simmons said he has his eyes on a few other awards.
“Championships,” Simmons said. “I want to be the Defensive Player of the Year … MVP. There’s a lot of accolades I want to get, but I ultimately want to win a ring.”
It might be a few years until he gets that ring but I do expect him to make the NBA All-Star game in his second season…or is it his third?
IS BEN THE ROY?