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Sixer's Ben Simmons Snags NBA Rookie Of The Year Award

By John Carlo A. Villaruel
on Jun 27, 2018 08:56 PM EDT
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Agile point guard Ben Simmons beat two other competitors to be named the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year on Monday in California.

Simmons, who led the Philadelphia 76ers into a 50-win season in his first year in the league, outlasted finalists Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz. The six-foot-10 hotshot finished the season averaging 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. Simmons made 54.5 percent of his from the field last season but failed to hit a single three-pointer in 11 attempts.

The former LSU star helped the 76ers finished third in a tough Eastern Conference while leading into its first appearance in the playoffs since 2012. In addition, Simmons also became the seventh player in league history to win the Rookie of the Year plum while steering their squad to win 50 games or more. Simmons was selected in the 2016 NBA draft but failed to suit up for the team the next year due to a broken foot.

In his acceptance speech, Simmons extended his gratitude to his family, friends, and the people of Philadelphia whom he cited as his second family. With the victory, Simmons also became the first LSU hooper to win the Rookie of the Year since Shaquille O'Neal who captured the award in the 1992-93 season with the Orlando Magic.

Simmons is also the third Sixer player to win the Rookie of the Year award. The other players were Allen Iverson who won in 1997 and Michael Carter-Williams who bagged the award in 2014.

'My teammates of course and my great coach, and the city of Philadelphia for really embracing me and my family, so thank you," Simmons said.

Simmons also put up great numbers last season finishing with 12 triple-doubles, which is third-most recorded in the history of the NBA. Russell Westbrook and LeBron James had 25 and 18 triple-doubles respectively. Additionally, Simmons became the first rookie since Oscar Robertson to have at least 1200 points, 600 rebounds, and 600 assists in their first year.

However, the victory didn't come in a silver platter for Simmons who got major competition from Mitchell and Tatum. Mitchell led the Jazz in the offensive department unleashing an average of 20.5 points to go along with 3.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.

The Louisville court general who led the Jazz into an incredible 45-win season helped his team pull off an upset against the Oklahoma City Thunder while averaging 24.4 points per contest. On the other hand, Tatum averaged 13.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

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