Ben Simmons is having an unbelievable start to his NBA career. Just 31 games into his Rookie season the Aussie point forward is being talked up not only as a guaranteed Rookie of the Year but potentially the man to follow Lebron James as the next King.
The question is not if but when for ben Simmons’ All-Star hopes but there is so much hype around his Rookie season that it could happen in 2018. The restructuring of the NBA All-Star selection may work in Simmons’ favour and could out him in rare company.
The likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Tim Duncan all made the NBA All-Star team in their first season. Ben Simmons could soon join that list and in doing so, would be the first Australian ever to play in the All-Star game.
The new All-Star selection structure revolves around 2 captains selecting their preferred players from the leading vote getters. The highest vote getters will be awarded captains of two respective teams with the East vs West no longer a factor. The two captains are then able to choose their desired players from the leading vote getters in both starters and reserve categories.
When Simmons was asked whether making the All-Star team was a goal for him entering this season his was response was simple, “I’d say so”. He certainly isn’t down on himself and doesn’t put on a ceiling on his own potential.
Simmons is among the leaders in both double-doubles and triple-doubles so far this season with fellow rookie Lonzo Ball also in the frame, however not in regards to All-Star selection.
He has opened his NBA career averaging 17.3 points, 9 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game to have him in the top 20 for both rebounds and top 5 for assists.What makes this even more impressive is that Simmons sat out the entirety of last season nursing a foot injury.
Simmons is clearly happy with the way he has been playing and got some impressive encouragement from Lebron James following the pairs match up just over a week ago. Lebron posted an image of the two on Instagram with the hashtag “youngking” leaving some serious encouragement for the young Aussie.
Following this, Simmons had some cheeky words to say in regards to the All-Star game saying, “he better pick me. If he doesn’t pick me, he’s got some problems”.
The NBA All-Star weekend is on from February 16-18 and voting closes on January 15.