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Ben Simmons picks himself as Rookie of the Year: ‘Me, 100%’

To Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons, there are no questions as far as who’s deserving of the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year award.

“Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent,” Simmons told ESPN’s Chris Haynes at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. “I think I have been playing solid all year. If you look at the numbers, you will see. People who know the game know.”

While there’s plenty who would argue a case for Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, Simmons proved he’s arrived as the NBA’s triple-double heir to the throne since his very first few games in the league — logging a double-double in his first three, before reaching the elusive feat in his fourth game with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists against the Detroit Pistons, giving his team its first win of the season.

Having navigated a long regular season, Simmons has proved his worth even more through this final stretch of 2018, allowing Philly’s season-long winning streak to keep on rolling, standing at 14 straight after hurdling the Cleveland Cavaliers with perhaps his best line yet — 27 points, 15 rebounds, 13 assists, four steals, and a block — all against his very idol in LeBron James.

Simmons has carried this team to wins without star center Joel Embiid, along with showing just how mesmerizing a talent he can be in this league. The 21-year-old is holding himself to the highest of standards, unimpressed by what other rookies have been able to do this season when asked which rookie has caught his eye.

“None,” Simmons responded promptly. “I want to be where the greats are. So, for me, I watch the guys like [Kevin Durant], [LeBron James], [Stephen] Curry, Russell [Westbrook]. Guys like that. That’s where I want to be. I think for me, that’s what I love to watch.”

Simmons is putting up 16 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game in his rookie season — averages that bear a massive likeness to James and Magic Johnson, who both posted all-around gaudy numbers during their respective rookie campaigns.