Less than 3 years ago, the Spurs high-flying Jonathon Simmons almost gave up on his NBA dream and quit basketball to become a barber or work any job to feed his 4 kids. He didn’t and in September of 2013, spent $150 to participate in a D-League tryout with the Austin Toros (later to be named Spurs).
2 years later he’s MVP for the champion Spurs summer league team in Vegas. A few months later, he’s in the NBA as a 26 year old rookie. And as a rookie, Simmons showed he could put up numbers when given the minutes; He was good for 10 points if he played 20 minutes and near 20 points if he got 30 minutes. In his final regular season game, Simmons had 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals vs the Mavs but barely got any minutes in the playoffs.
On Tuesday, the H-Town product played 31 minutes and scored a game-high 35 points (13-18 fg) with 7 rebounds and 5 assists as the Spurs beat the Ben Simmons-less 76ers 95-91 in a Summer league game. 10 of his 35 came in the 2nd quarter, when he went a perfect 4 for 4 from the field.
“That’s what they’re telling me – to be aggressive. Just play hard,” Said Simmons. “Just keep being aggressive. They tell me to keep going. That’s what I try to do.”
I know this is just a summer league game…against the 76ers, and he did have 9 turnovers, but I’m expecting a breakout season from Simmons and a lot more aggressive dunks and blocks like these on Dieng and LeBron James.