Infotainment Factory: The big favour Simmons wants from Australia

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Monday, 14 January 2019

The big favour Simmons wants from Australia


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Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons wants to scratch Australia's NBA All-Star itch and is hoping for the public's help to get over the hump.

The reigning Rookie of the Year's push to become Australia's first participant in the annual exhibition match is in danger of being denied for a second straight season.

Simmons, 22, sits fourth among Eastern Conference guards after the second release of fan-vote figures last week, with only the top-two finishers automatically selected.

The NBA has experienced an Australian explosion in recent years, with Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, Matthew Dellavedova, Thon Maker and Aron Baynes finding their feet in the league.

Ben Simmons

But an Australian All-Star has continued to prove elusive despite former Golden State Warriors centre Andrew Bogut making the 2010 All-NBA Third Team.

Fresh from tallying an astonishing 20 points and 22 rebounds in the Sixers' 108-105 win over New York on Monday - one of the best performances of his short career - Simmons said he was keen to break the mould.

"I also want to be the first Australian to be in the All-Star game; I think that would just be huge for Australian basketball," he told news.com.au.

"Not only for me but for little kids looking up to me."

Now the Melbourne-born superstar has enlisted the assistance of his home nation, taking to morning television to invite Aussie basketball fans to vote for him over their vegemite toast or cornflakes.

Ben Simmons

"I mean hopefully people are sitting down at breakfast right now and they log on and vote me into the game," Simmons told the Nine Network.

"I appreciate all the support I've had from back home and everyone really pushing for that."

Simmons, averaging 16.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game this season, said elevation to All-Star status would validate his hard work.

"The preparation I've been putting in lately has been a lot," he said.

"It always one of my goals to just try and be the best player I can. It's not everything. But at the same time, it's one of those accolades and goals I kind of want to accomplish."

Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons wants to scratch Australia's NBA All-Star itch and is hoping for the public's help to get over the hump.

The reigning Rookie of the Year's push to become Australia's first participant in the annual exhibition match is in danger of being denied for a second straight season.

Simmons, 22, sits fourth among Eastern Conference guards after the second release of fan-vote figures last week, with only the top-two finishers automatically selected.

The NBA has experienced an Australian explosion in recent years, with Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, Matthew Dellavedova, Thon Maker and Aron Baynes finding their feet in the league.

Ben Simmons

But an Australian All-Star has continued to prove elusive despite former Golden State Warriors centre Andrew Bogut making the 2010 All-NBA Third Team.

Fresh from tallying an astonishing 20 points and 22 rebounds in the Sixers' 108-105 win over New York on Monday - one of the best performances of his short career - Simmons said he was keen to break the mould.

"I also want to be the first Australian to be in the All-Star game; I think that would just be huge for Australian basketball," he told news.com.au.

"Not only for me but for little kids looking up to me."

Now the Melbourne-born superstar has enlisted the assistance of his home nation, taking to morning television to invite Aussie basketball fans to vote for him over their vegemite toast or cornflakes.

Ben Simmons

"I mean hopefully people are sitting down at breakfast right now and they log on and vote me into the game," Simmons told the Nine Network.

"I appreciate all the support I've had from back home and everyone really pushing for that."

Simmons, averaging 16.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game this season, said elevation to All-Star status would validate his hard work.

"The preparation I've been putting in lately has been a lot," he said.

"It always one of my goals to just try and be the best player I can. It's not everything. But at the same time, it's one of those accolades and goals I kind of want to accomplish."

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