Ben Simmons not interested in comparisons with Donovan Mitchell in ROY race
Philadelphia 76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons isn’t into making comparisons for the Rookie of the Year award, picking himself as the clear winner of the race and showing no interest in a head-to-head, stat-by-stat battle with his biggest competition, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz.
“I don’t really listen to comparisons,” Simmons told ESPN’s Chris Haynes at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. “You can compare players and whatever it is, but at the same time, everybody is their own player.”
While there are some that argue Simmons has had an extra year of being around an NBA environment with players and coaching staff giving him lots of advice, including an additional offseason to work on his game, Simmons won’t take the bait.
“Coming off a broken foot is definitely not an edge, but people are always going to say what they want to say,” Simmons said. “But at the end of the day, this is my first year in the league. If you’re a guy coming from overseas, you’re still a rookie and you can be 30 years old. So there’s a rule in there.”
Simmons isn’t far from the truth, while he’s had certain advantages, he’s also had his disadvantages with enormous pressure to deliver as the No. 1 overall pick, the storm of praise he’s received since his high school days and the expectations building in Philadelphia after years of misery.
A 6-foot-10 all-around monster, Simmons has impacted this Sixers team with more than just effective scoring, putting up an impressive 16 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game — numbers that will be tough to edge in this Rookie of the Year race.