Ben Simmons nominated for Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly Staff 

2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons was named NBA's Rookie of the Year at the end of June. The argument is still made by many that Simmons wasn't an actual rookie, because it was his second year in the league. Simmons missed the entirety of his first season after breaking a bone in his foot during training camp in September 2016. Whether you believe him to be a rookie or not, you cannot ignore the feats he accomplished in his first full season.

After the NBA settled the Rookie of the Year debate, Simmons and fellow 2017-18 rookie Donovan Mitchell are both in the running for the ESPY award for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Voting is open for fans, so cast your vote for Simmons by clicking hereSaints running back Alvin Kamara and tennis athlete Sloane Stephens are the other two up for the ESPY honor. The award show will take place on July 18 at 8:00 p.m., hosted by Danica Patrick.

Simmons passed Magic Johnson for the second-most triple-doubles in a season by a rookie and finished with 12 on the season. Simmons was third in that category in the NBA this season behind LeBron James (18) and Russell Westbrook (25). 

On April 3, Simmons became just the second player in NBA history to record 1,200 points, 600 assists, and 600 rebounds. The other player was Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.

Simmons helped lead the Sixers to their first playoff appearance since 2012, and their first playoff series win in that same amount of time. At 6-10, the things Simmons did on the court as a point guard is something that is unmatched in this period of time. Like Mitchell, Simmons was Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month four times in November and January-March.

Ben averaged 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and 1.7 steals in 33.7 minutes per game this year. 


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