The NBA All Star game is one of the most farcical of all the U.S. sports, well, save for the MLB All Star game the NHL All Star game and the NFL Pro Bowl, but NBA players take being selected seriously.
When Aussie Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers was snubbed for the first team, he held out hopes of being selected as an Eastern Conference reserve, but that distinction also eluded him.
This is Simmons’ second year in the NBA, although he sat out all of his first season with an injury.
What he had done on the court this season is reminiscent of Magic Johnson, where he has showed the versatility to score against any defensive player on the floor and to guard anyone trying to score against him.
Simmons’ main shortcoming, however, is that while his statistics certainly make him worthy, he is considered a rookie and many of the slots for the game are emeritus-like honours to aging veterans.
Most NBA observers avow that Simmons will be an All Star for the rest of his career. He will be on hand at All Star Weekend in Los Angeles, where he will take part in the Rising Stars Challenge.
In terms of assists and rebounds, Simmons matches favourably with LeBron James. James has quite an edge in scoring, but in terms of percentage, that is, shots taken versus shots made, Simmons is actually a bit more accurate.
Simmons All Star prospects could have been better if the 76ers as a team were better, but as of this writing, they are the owners of a 22 – 21 record, which has them in eighth position in the NBA Eastern Conference.
As Simmons matures and starts to play his best hoops and if the 76ers can add some support around him, it would be reasonable to conclude that this will be the last year Simmons is snubbed by the All Star game.
Simmons is averaging 16.6 points, 8 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game, which almost puts him in the Michael Westbrook realm.