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Simmons Named 2017-18 KIA NBA Rookie Of The Year
Simmons Becomes The Third Player In Franchise History To Win The Award
PHILADELPHIA – JUNE 25, 2018 – The NBA announced tonight at the 2018 NBA Awards presented by Kia that Philadelphia 76ers guard-forward Ben Simmons was named the 2017-18 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year. Simmons joins Hall of Famer Allen Iverson (1996-97) and Michael Carter-Williams (2013-14) as the only other 76ers in franchise history to receive the award.
“I am proud of the fact that two of the past five Rookies of the Year have come from our program’s development efforts, which are the bloodline of our culture,” Brown said. “Ben Simmons is so much an example of this fact. He had been a college four-man and transitioned into the NBA as a point guard; that, in itself, is an amazing story. This positional change and added responsibility only confirms how exciting his future is as a multi-dimensional player. His character and his talents will be a building block of our championship quest for many, many years. I am so proud to share in his award and so proud of his teammates for also helping him achieve this recognition.”
Simmons, the first Australia native to win Rookie of the Year, appeared in 81 games (all starts), averaging 15.8 points in 33.7 minutes per game, while his averages of 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.7 steals per contest led all rookies. The 6-foot-10 guard-forward joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only two rookies in NBA history to post at least 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. He was one of only three NBA players to post such averages this season, joining Cleveland’s LeBron James and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.
Simmons also becomes the eighth player in NBA history, and first since Tim Duncan in 1997-98, to earn Rookie the Year honors on a 50-win team.
“It was amazing the level that Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell played at,” Simmons said. “For me, I love playing against the best players, so seeing guys like that and knowing I'm going to be in competition with those guys throughout my career is to me, really amazing. I enjoy every bit of competing against those guys and look forward to seeing them again on the court.”
A four-time Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month and one-time Eastern Conference Player of the Week (April 9), Simmons posted 12 triple-doubles, the second-most ever by a rookie, behind Robertson’s 26 in 1960-61. Simmons’ 12 triple-doubles were the third-most in the league this season and are tied for the eighth-most career triple-doubles among active NBA players.
Simmons’ 661 total assists were the most ever by a Philadelphia rookie and the seventh-most in a rookie campaign in league history. Simmons was third among NBA rookies with a field-goal percentage of .545, becoming the second 76ers rookie ever to shoot at least .540 in a season, joining Hall of Famer Charles Barkley.
“Ben Simmons’ rookie season proved to the world that he is one of most dynamic and exciting stars in the NBA, and we’re happy he is being recognized for his accomplishments with the Rookie of the Year award,” Philadelphia 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris said. “As the team builds off a tremendous 2017-18 season, we look forward to Ben’s continued growth and leadership for many years to come.”
“We are thrilled that Ben has been named NBA Rookie of the Year, a well-deserved honor for one of the game’s brightest young stars,” Philadelphia 76ers Managing Partner David Blitzer said. “Throughout the course of his rookie season, Ben demonstrated versatility, poise and an exciting playmaking ability. His future is incredibly bright and we’re fortunate to have him as a cornerstone piece of the 76ers franchise.”
The guard-forward put together two streaks of 10-plus consecutive games with at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists, including a 27-game streak from Jan. 24-March 31, which tied Damon Stoudamire (1995-96) for the longest such streak ever by a rookie. Simmons, Stoudamire and Iverson are the only players since 1983-84 to have multiple such streaks in a rookie season. His 58 games with at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists were third in the NBA this season behind only James and Westbrook and no other rookie posted more than 19 such games.
Simmons, who was the second rookie ever to post at least 600 rebounds and 600 assists (Robertson) in a season, notched 38 double-doubles in 2017-18. No other rookie had more than 17 such games, and his total was tied for 11th in the NBA. The 38 double-doubles matched teammate Joel Embiid for the team lead and were the most by a 76ers player in a season since Chris Webber had 38 in 2005-06.
Simmons helped Philadelphia to the Eastern Conference’s third-best record at 52-30 as the 76ers clinched their first playoff berth since 2011-12. On April 21 in Philadelphia’s first-round series against Miami, Simmons posted 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in 39 minutes of action as the 76ers topped the Heat. He became the first Philadelphia player to post a triple-double in a playoff game since Hall of Famer Charles Barkley on April 27, 1991 against Milwaukee, joining Hall of Famers Magic Johnson (five), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry Lucas and Tom Gola as the only NBA rookies ever to do so.
Simmons, who received 16 votes for All-Defensive honors, was the lone rookie to post at least 100 steals and 50 blocks this season. His 140 steals ranked fifth overall in the NBA and were the most by a 76ers rookie since Iverson posted 157 in 1996-97. Simmons, Iverson and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Maurice Cheeks are the only Philadelphia players ever to post at least 140 steals as rookies.
A native of Melbourne, Australia, Simmons is the sixth player born outside the U.S. to win Rookie of the Year and the first since Andrew Wiggins (Canada) in 2014-15.