Ben Simmons Named NBA Rookie of the Year
On Monday night at the NBA Awards, the Rookie of the Year debate was settled whether you like it or not. Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons was named Rookie of the Year, beating out Utah's Donovan Mitchell and Boston's Jayson Tatum. The former LSU-standout takes home rookie honors after a phenomenal, record-breaking season that saw him post impressive averages of 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.2 assists while also posting 12 triple-doubles and 38 double-doubles.
Simmons received 90 of 101 possible first place votes, Donovan Mitchell received the other 11. Mitchell got 89 of the second place votes while Tatum got 95 third place votes. Simmons ended up getting 10 second place votes and a third place vote. Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Smith Jr. both received third place votes.
Simmons is just the third Sixer in franchise history to win Rookie of the Year honors, joining Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson and Michael Carter-Williams, who won it in 2013-14. Ben is also the first Australian player to ever win the award.
After being selected with the top pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Ben Simmons missed an entire season due to a foot injury suffered in training camp before the start of the 2016-17 season. So, after a year out, his rookie season began in 2017-18.
Simmons passed Magic Johnson for the second-most triple-doubles in a season by a rookie and finished with 12 on the season. Simmons was third in that category in the NBA this season behind LeBron James (18) and Russell Westbrook (25).
On April 3, Simmons became just the second player in NBA history to record 1,200 points, 600 assists, and 600 rebounds. The other player was Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.
Simmons helped lead the Sixers to their first playoff appearance since 2012, and their first playoff series win in that same amount of time. At 6-10, the things Simmons did on the court as a point guard is something that is unmatched in this period of time. Like Mitchell, Simmons was Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month four times in November and January-March.
Brandon Apter is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and managing editor at SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23