As you already know, the 2016/2017 NBA season has well and truly taken off. It’s nearly two months since the first game of the league’s regular season and as expected, the entertainment hasn’t gone missing. Basketball fans have seen some great games, notable performances from big-time players, met the newcomers (rookies), and all the stuff you expect to see in the world’s greatest basketball league.
However, they’ve been robbed thus far of seeing a guy who has a lot of hype on his back – Philadelphia’s 2016 number 1 draft pick, Australian Ben Simmons.
For a franchise which hasn’t hidden its intention to build a roster for the future, choosing Simmons was a big step in the right direction. For most of last year’s college season, many pundits had Simmons locked as number one draft choice. Eventually, they were proven right, and the biggest threat to his being selected first, Brandon Ingram was selected at number two by the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Sixers had some promising names in its roster even before drafting Simmons – in the likes of Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric and Nerlens Noel. However, adding more talent to the roster certainly wasn’t unwelcomed by Philly.
Then, during Philadelphia’s final day of training camp, the team suffered a setback – Simmons suffered a foot fracture. The 20-year-old went under the knife in October. And now Simmons is still recovering from the injury, still waiting for his NBA debut.
Bryan Colangelo, Philly’s president of basketball operations and general manager, recently noted that he’s aware that they have something ”special” in Simmons.
”I do know that when (Simmons) does come in, we’ve got a special piece that we’re going to put into the fold. We anticipate that’s going to be a pretty big impact,” said Colangelo, as quoted by Fox Sports Australia.
Simmons, a 208cm tall Australian, is well known for his trait of grabbing a rebound and running quickly down the floor. He is a small forward who possesses the playmaking abilities of a point guard. Ben Simmons represents the new breed of NBA players who are so versatile that they can play multiple positions.
”We’re going to play with probably a considerable amount of pace. I think he tends to grab and go, which is rebound the ball and push the ball up the floor, pass ahead — all the things that he demonstrated not only in college, but quite clearly in Summer League.
”I think the desire of this team and this organisation to play a certain style of play, incorporate some of that, it’s definitely something that we’re going to look forward to,” added Colangelo.
With all this happening, Simmons had to find a way to keep his cool. People want to see him on the court, he’s drawn attention on him, and he’s a hyped player due to his talent. Yet, Simmons managed to keep everything just in place, claims Colangelo.
”The fact that there’s so much focus on him, being the number one draft pick, and all those things that he’s going to deal with, I think that outside of avoiding that proverbial question, ‘When are you coming back?,’ I think he’s handled everything great.”
It is still unknown when we will see Simmons make his debut in the league. The date hasn’t been set yet. Speaking of that, Colangelo said they are ”not going to rush,” and they’re not going to put Simmons in a”position to jeopardise his future career,” or his”impact” on Sixers’ organization.
Truth to be told, there is no need for Philly to rush Simmons’ debut. Simmons should eventually make his appearance at one point during the season, but, the team has to pick the right moment to do so.