Ben Simmons is an exceptional talent. He is undoubtedly a leader in Philadelphia 76ers, capable of playing at several positions. Standing at 6,10ft Simmons is exceptionally versatile like superstar Lebron James who can effectively play at point guard, small forward, shooting guard positions as well as handle the ball, lead the team’s play and score points.
This article will examine the creation of Ben Simmons from his college years following the 2016 NBA draft, where he was chosen as a number 1 pick by Philadelphia.
Simmons, who holds dual citizenship of the United States and Australia was born in Melbourne in 1996. The son of a professional basketball player himself, Simmons grew up in Newcastle City while his father was playing and coaching in the city.
Simmons started playing basketball at the age of seven in Newcastle Hunters, and he also played junior rugby league.
He was also very fond of Australian rules football, and at some point, he was torn between basketball and Australian football and eventually he chose the former.
The turning point for then 15-year-old was the opportunity to represent Australia at the FIBA Under-17 World Championship in 2012, where his team got to the final, losing to the eventual winners the United States.
Prior to moving to the United States, Simmons signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Lousiana State University. He was an integral figure for the club averaging 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 33 games. Magic Johnson, one of the greatest basketball players of all time hailed him as the best all-around player since Lebron James.
Even though the Australian had good results, the team’s regular-season was considered a failure, as LSU finished the season with an 18-13 record.
Considering his statistics, Simmons was widely anticipated to be the top draft pick in 2016 and on June 23, 2016, Philadelphia 76ers chose him as the first pick. Simmons became the third top pick player alongside Andrew Bogut and Kyrie Irving who was born in Melbourne.
The first season was unfortunate for Ben Simmons, as he rolled his ankle during the final training session and in January 2017 it was determined, he would miss the entire 2016-2017 season. MRI determined he had a bone broken on his right foot.
Some experts doubted his capabilities because Simmons practically has no 3-point shooting, which is strange considering he is a point guard. Though in his very first season Australian played all 81 matches and averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds.
Simmons turned into a leader for the club and struggling Philadelphia suddenly became one of the favorites to secure a playoff spot as well as score multiple foreign fans all over the world.
The biggest fans that this player manages to get were bookies and casinos hoping that they could score a sponsorship deal with him. Simmons quickly had multiple doors open to affiliate himself with gambling, an opportunity very few sportsmen refuse. The biggest and most interested company to this day would be Spinia, an international gambling platform that has been active for a couple of years. Being an online platform, they needed to have the face of the company and considering most of their customers were sports fans, choosing a legend was pretty obvious. The most active part of the company was Spinia.com Germany as local fans were much more active in supporting Simmons than Australians, the countrymen of the player.
Unfortunately, though, it is unknown to this day whether Simmons went ahead and took the partnership, but considering his lack of digital presence, it’s safe to say that he said no.
This didn’t stop fans from betting on his performance though and Simmons didn’t let them down
averaging 16.3 points and 9.4 rebounds in 36.9 minutes.
His first season in Philadelphia was a huge success, recording ten triple-doubles, winning NBA Rookie of the Year award and earning NBA All-Rookie First Team honor.
The next season was more successful for the young Australian, who made his first All-Star appearance in 2019, becoming the first Australian player ever to participate in this event.
On January 15 Simmons achieved a milestone, becoming the second-fastest player after Oscar Robertson in the NBA to reach 2000 points, 1000 rebounds, and 1000 assists.
In that season Simmons averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists – again reaching almost triple-double digits and moreover, he helped the team qualify in playoffs, where they lost to eventual champions Toronto Raptors 4-3.
In his third season, Simmons also participated in the All-Star game. On December 7, 2019, he scored a career-high 34 points against Cleveland Cavaliers, making only a second three-pointer in his NBA career.
Simmons is a member of the Australian national team, and he was ready to play for the team in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. However, he later reversed his decision due to “professional obligations”. However, he expressed willingness to represent his team at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Simmons is a uniquely talented player. Even Lebron James admired him for the evolution Australian underwent and expressed a desire to play alongside him. No surprise, because Simmons possesses every capability, that could make him one of the best players in the NBA.
One of the most notable weaknesses in his playing is the inability to shoot 3-pointers. He is outstanding in paint, can make rebounds and assists effectively, though Simmons has a limited choice selection. He should probably train on this aspect to further improve his playing and aid the team as well.