Ben Simmons has been tremendous for the Sixers, but he is no rookie. He had an advantage and the NBA needs to change the rule for what makes a player eligible for rookie of the year.
In my opinion the day you start getting paid for a professional franchise you are no longer rookie even if you are hurt because you are still part of the team and being helped in ways no college kid can not. Simmons was scrimmaging with Sixers last year, they held him out for precautionary reasons, but he could have played, he was healthy enough to do so. There is a big difference practicing and learning from pros and playing in college.
You don’t have to worry about calculous class. Exhibit A of why the rule should be changed is Julius Randle. Randle was hurt the in the first minute of his rookie season, he played ONE more minute than Ben Simmons, but wasn’t eligible to win the award the following season. Frankly, Simmons and Blake Griffin before him are using a loophole to win the award, not their issue, but something that should be changed.
Here is what Simmons had to say via ESPN.
“Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent,” Simmons told ESPN at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday.
When the 6-foot-10 point guard was told the Rookie of the Year race appears to be a two-man show, he buried his head down and proceeded to chuckle. Asked what rookies have caught his attention this year, he didn’t mince words.
“None,” Simmons responded promptly. “I want to be where the greats are. So, for me, I watch the guys like [Kevin Durant], [LeBron James], [Stephen] Curry, Russell [Westbrook]. Guys like that. That’s where I want to be. I think for me, that’s what I love to watch.”
Flip the page for video of Simmons’ interview and Mitchell responds on Twitter to Simmons.