Simmons Leading by Example

by Lauren Rosen

At Media Day, Ben Simmons said one of his biggest goals for this season is to lead the 76ers by example.

Following two days of training camp practices, the point man is doing just that, and the gym is taking notice. 

“Ben’s playing with more of a freedom, because I think he knows the system more intimately,” Brett Brown said Wednesday in Camden. “He knows what to do.”

Simmons said he felt himself flip a switch this summer - a result of months of hard work in the offseason.

“I’m locked in. I feel ready. This summer’s been huge for me,” Simmons said.

In addition to serving as the team’s primary playmaker on offense, Simmons aims to lead his team on the defensive end.

“I want to be the best defensive player on the team, so hopefully everybody on my team hears that, and they strive to do the same thing,” Simmons said Monday.

“He’s always in attack mode,” Trey Burke said after Wednesday’s practice. 

Burke and Simmons share in common not only their position, but their expressed desire to lead with defense.

Tobias Harris, who worked out with Simmons in Southern California this summer, has already noticed the same mentality that Simmons described Monday.

“Ben is really locked in defensively, and locked in offensively, understanding everybody’s spots,” Harris said.

Harris has been impressed with Simmons’ selflessness as the point man has sought to develop on-court chemistry with his teammates.

“He can go out there and get his own shot when he wants, and he’s been out here trying to find guys in their spots, where they want to play,” Harris said.

It’s been an illustrious pair of NBA seasons for Simmons, who has already earned Rookie of the Year and All-Star honors, all by the age of 23. 

But for Simmons, those personal accolades take a back seat, which he has made clear in these early days of the preseason. His only personal goal for the 2019-20 season is carrying a championship trophy down Broad Street.

A lofty goal indeed, and a pursuit that has already begun, with Simmons’ leadership front and center. 

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