Simmons Named Eastern Conference KIA Rookie Of The Month

PHILADELPHIA – FEB. 1, 2017 – Philadelphia 76ers guard-forward Ben Simmons was named Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in January, the NBA announced today. 

In 12 January games, Simmons posted averages of 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.7 assists per contest, as he helped lead the 76ers to a 7-5 month and the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. He was the only rookie to average at least 17 points, five rebounds and six assists per game in January, and one of just seven players to do so leaguewide; joining Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, Houston’s James Harden and Chris Paul, Cleveland’s LeBron James and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.

The 21-year-old leads all rookies in rebounds, assists, steals and minutes per game. He is second in points per game and field-goal percentage (.528). Simmons and James are the only two players in the NBA averaging at least seven assists per game while shooting 50 percent or better from the field.

Simmons has totaled 787 points, 365 rebounds and 343 assists thus far in 2017-18. He’s just the ninth player to amass such totals through his first 47 games of a season since 1963-64 and is the only rookie to do so. He, James and Westbrook are the only three players in the NBA this season with at least 700 points, 300 rebounds and 300 assists.

The Australia native ranks within the top 10 in the NBA, among qualifying players, in assists (fifth) and steals (ninth) per game, while his 19 double-doubles lead all rookies. Just 16 NBA players have more double-doubles than Simmons.

In 12 January games, Simmons posted double figures in points 10 times, while eclipsing the 20-point plateau on four occasions. He was one of four NBA rookies to put up at least four 20-point games in January, and the only one in the Eastern Conference.

On Jan. 24 against Chicago, Simmons posted 19 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists in 39 minutes of action in a 115-101 victory over the Bulls. Simmons and Steve Francis are the only two NBA rookies since 1963-64 to post at least 19 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists in a game.

The triple-double was the fifth of Simmons’ career and came in his 43rd NBA game. The only player in NBA history with more than five triple-doubles through his first 50 NBA games was Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. His five triple-doubles are third in the league in 2017-18 behind only Westbrook and James.

Simmons opened January with a 26-point, five-rebound, four-assist, three-steal performance in the 76ers’ Jan. 3 win over San Antonio. The win was the 76ers’ first over the Spurs since Feb. 11, 2011. Weeks later, on Jan. 26, the 6-foot-10 rookie posted 21 points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals in a road win at AT&T Center, giving Philadelphia its first season sweep of the Spurs since 2003-04.

On Jan. 20, Simmons totaled 16 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in a win over Milwaukee, giving the 76ers their third straight win at the time. It was Philadelphia’s fourth win streak of three or more games this season, a feat that the team had not accomplished since 2012-13.

Originally selected by Philadelphia with the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons spent one season at LSU prior to joining the 76ers. 

Simmons, who also earned Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors for games played in October/November, becomes the fifth Philadelphia rookie ever to earn the award multiple times in one season. Teammates Joel Embiid and Dario Šarić each did so last season, while Michael Carter-Williams (2013-14) and Allen Iverson (1996-97) did so previously. The award has been presented monthly since 1981-82.

Simmons, along with Embiid and Šarić, will compete in the 2018 Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars on Friday, Feb. 16 at Staples Center in Los Angeles during NBA All-Star 2018 (9 p.m. ET; TNT, ESPN Radio).