Season Recap: Kobi Simmons Takes A Leap in First Year with Greensboro Swarm

by Sam Perley

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Two-way player Kobi Simmons took another step forward in his professional career, putting together a career year while serving as the Greensboro Swarm’s starting point guard throughout the 2019-20 G League campaign.

Simmons signed with the Hornets organization last September after appearing in 33 games at the NBA level with Memphis and Cleveland across his first two seasons. His contract was soon converted to a two-way deal in mid-October and he eventually kicked off his Greensboro Swarm career with three consecutive double-doubles to open up the schedule.

While Simmons was never summoned to the Hornets roster this season, he did post career-high averages in scoring (17.4 points), rebounding (4.3), assists (team-high 5.4), steals (1.3) and field-goal percentage (45.4 percent) in 37 starts with the Swarm. His best stretch of the year came in mid-February, when he tallied 30-point outings in three out of four games, while also dishing out an average of 6.5 assists per contest.

Standing 6-5, Simmons certainly has the size to play in an NBA backcourt and as evidenced by his time in Greensboro, is continuing to progress in multiple areas of his game. He was one of just three G League players to average at least 17 points, four rebounds, five assists, one steal and shoot 45 percent this season, joining Wisconsin’s Jaylen Adams (First-Team All-G League) and Fort Wayne’s Walter Lemon Jr.

“I worked on everything the Hornets wanted me to work on,” Simmons stated during his exit interview on June 10. “I learned how to lead a team and how to develop areas I needed to develop to get better as a player. I think it was great and the players and coaching staff we had down in Greensboro were great. I think I took my game to the next level, for sure.”

Having bounced around the NBA landscape a bit since going undrafted in 2017, Simmons was impressed with the revamped developmental program the Hornets have implemented organizationally over the last two years.

“What really stood out was how they let their players develop and the communication. [Player Development Coach] Nick [Friedman]’s impact was huge. He kept us level-headed throughout the whole season. Whether we had a good game or a bad game, our routine was always the same. He kept us in the right mindset and attitude every day.”

The University of Arizona product will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and while there’s still much uncertainty with how things will shake out over the summer, like many, Simmons is focusing on what he can control for the time being.

“I’m just working on my body and getting bigger every day. Since quarantine started, I want to say I’ve gained around 15 pounds. I want to continue working on that, getting stronger and continue to stick with Charlotte. I like Charlotte, I like the organization, the players, the coaches. I’m looking to have a future with those guys.”

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