The Case For Ben Simmons Being an All-Star


Does All-Star equal complete player? If so, Ben Simmons is out. He is not a good shooter. He has not even attempted a 3-point shot, unless it was a heave at the end of a quarter. He shoots less that 56% from the free-throw line. He turns the ball over more than a point guard should.  He’s not even close to a finished product. It’s easy to watch him play and pick out the things he does not do well. There are a lot of them. He will improve.

The only two rookies to play in the All-Star game this century were Blake Griffin and Yao Ming. So why is this even a topic? Simmons is a transcendent player, who at 6-11, is doing things at the point guard position that nobody since the great Magic Johnson has done. Simmons is averaging 16.6 points, 8 rebounds, and 7.2 assists a game. In Magic Johnson’s rookie year, he averaged 18 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. Magic was the rookie of the year, and the MVP of the NBA Finals that year. Simmons also averages close to 2 steals and a block per game. The only other person in the league filling up a stat sheet like that now? LeBron James. Pretty good company.

Simmons, led in part by his sister Olivia’s creative twitter work, garnered enough votes to finish 3rd in the fan vote for guards. The decision for reserves will be made by the coaches. Do the coaches want to give respect to an incredible talent? Do the coaches want to make the rookie wait his turn? We will find out Tuesday night.

Joel Embiid is an All-Star starter, and there is no question he is the best player on the 76ers. Philadelphia is team that has improved dramatically this year, and is in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Embiid is also a transcendent talent, and one who has the charisma to match his abilities. Simmons, much more low key than Embiid, possesses rare qualities as a basketball player-which includes incredible vision, agility, athleticism. He helps to shoulder the rebounding load, and his long arms cause deflections that lead to steals. There is no question Ben Simmons will be a multiple All Star in his career. WIll he have to wait? He is special and it’s the right time to put his full array of skills on display. Isn’t that what the All-Star game is for?

About Mike Small

Married for 23 years, and a father of four. Currently a Pharmaceutical Sales Leader, and contributor for TLSportsMedia, covering the Philadelphia 76ers and other relevant NBA topics. Previously worked as a television sports anchor in Eastern North Carolina, radio talk show host in Charlotte, North Carolina. Also served as the producer of "The Dean Smith Show", a weekly television show on The University of North Carolina basketball team, and "The Mack Brown Show", a weekly television show on the UNC football team-while doing all of the player features. Wrote a weekly column and articles for Carolina Blue Newspaper. Was also a contributor to, "A Season of Dreams", a book on the 1993 National Champion North Carolina Basketball Team.

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