Aussie Sensation Ben Simmons is Blazing a Trail Through the NBA



Aussie sensation Ben Simmons is blazing a trail through the NBAImage Credit: Rob Carr / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images 

The Philadelphia 76ers star rookie Ben Simmons has stunned the basketball world and rewritten the record books early in his NBA career.

When we debate the greatest Australian athletes in the world of sport, there could well be a new name right at the top of that list.

Ben Simmons is not just lighting up the NBA – his scorching hot play is leaving courts across the States engulfed in flames.

The Melbourne-born 21-year-old was the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft but a devastating foot injury meant the newest star of the Philadelphia 76ers was sidelined for his entire rookie season.

The dynamic point forward finally made his 76ers debut in September and has since been tearing through the NBA’s history books. Within his first six games, Simmons has become the:

  • • fifth player ever, and first since Shaquille O’Neal, to open his career with double-doubles in his first four games
    • fifth player ever to post at least 10 points and five assists in his first five games
    • second player ever to land 100 points, 50 rebounds and 40 assists in his first six games
    • first Australian to record a triple-double in the NBA – in only his fourth game

There are many influential voices who believe Simmons will become Australia’s first true NBA superstar and the praise continues to roll in with every stunning display:

  • • "He looks like a vet out there. He's doing whatever he wants to" – teammate Joel Embiid
    • "He has great vision… Guys like Ben, they're rare" – teammate Robert Covington
    • "Look at Ben Simmons' numbers… how he impacts a game, [he’s] all over the place" – 76ers coach Brett Brown
    • "He’s been unbelievable. His numbers are eye-popping" – LA Laker Andrew Bogut
    • "Everyone knew he was going to be good, but he’s way better than expected" – Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
    • "Ben Simmons is like a LeBron – getting the ball off the rim and pushing it to find his teammates" – Washington Wizards’ John Wall
    • "Ben Simmons is the best all-around player I've seen since LeBron James came out of high school straight to the NBA" – LA Lakers legend Magic Johnson
    • "I think he is a great young talent…. what he displays on the basketball court, we all notice" – Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James

Whether Simmons will rise among the all-time greats of Australian sport is still to be revealed but, as far as first impressions go, a new star has already been born.

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