Ben Simmons has already proclaimed himself the undisputed Rookie of the Year, but it seems he’s no the only one who would pick him “100 percent” when the ballots drop.
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown prompted that those who doubt Simmons’ status of a rookie are just looking for ways to debate what their eyes have witnessed all season long.
“(They’re) searching for unnecessary things that might give some pause to the decision,” said Brown, according to Molly Sullivan of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “There should be zero pause. He’s the stone cold Rookie of the Year.”
Simmons sat out his first season with a foot injury and had the advantage of a year’s worth of coaching and NBA company while going through his recovery, but at the same time, starting off a career after an injury is no easy task — though the Sixers have made it a real art form — just ask Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz.
His biggest competition, Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, is leading all rookies in scoring, and has shown All-Star potential just like Simmons with his all-around prowess.
Yet Simmons remained unimpressed when asked which of his fellow rookies had caught his eyes, saying “none” while noting he’s holding himself to the highest of standards and looking to be in the same level as former and soon-to-be MVPs like James Harden, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry.
The Sixers rookie is questionable for tonight against the Atlanta Hawks with gastroenteritis, and could likely be replaced by fellow rookie Fultz if he’s unable to take the court.