Ben Simmons had no issues with fitting in when it came to the scrum of reporters around him during the Rising Stars Media Availability on Friday morning.
The second year Rising Star and first time All-Star looked like he belonged, joking with some of the reporters who threw some off-the-wall questions at him, and thoughtfully responding to the questions about basketball, his brand, and his hopes to use the Team World platform to influence the league.
”It’s just another platform and opportunity for us to come out here and show what we can do.” Simmons said. “I love being a part of the World team. I love coming to an event like this and playing with guys from all over.”
Simmons has not only grabbed the eyes of the veterans and media across the NBA this season with his eye-popping numbers (16.8ppg/9.0rpg/7.9apg with a 57.1efg%) but his peers have noticed as well.
“Ben had the talent from the beginning,” Jarrett Allen said. “He’s 6’9”, amazing passer, amazing finisher. All he needs to do is improve the jumpshot and he’s going to be a for sure all-star for the rest of his life. Seeing the improvement he has made gives me a lot of confidence in myself [to make a similar jump].”
“I think Ben has been great,” Trae Young said. “Him and Joel, and all those guys over there in Philly...with him and Joel at the head of it, leading them to a high seed as of right now in the Eastern Conference — that’s the reason why he’s an All-Star. Winning takes care of a lot of things and he’s definitely done a good job winning. He’s definitely motivation.”
Some more quotes from Simmons media availability:
Simmons on team moving forward in second half of the season:— Be Mine Melo (@Me_Low76) February 15, 2019
"I think we're in a good position. Looking forward to building more chemistry with these guys. We recently just made the trade, so I think for us it's just gonna take a little bit of time."
Simmons on the All Star experience:— Be Mine Melo (@Me_Low76) February 15, 2019
"This is my second time here. It's always busy but always a lot of fun. I just look forward to playing in the All-Star Game and experiencing that and being around so many great players."
Simmons on moves from other top Eastern Conference teams at the deadline:— Be Mine Melo (@Me_Low76) February 15, 2019
"It's exciting. I love playing at a high level and competing against the best players."
Simmons on close games against Boston:— Be Mine Melo (@Me_Low76) February 15, 2019
"We've lost games to them. It happens. Hopefully this time around in the playoffs, we get to the point where we are winning when we need to. And we build off that."
Simmons on being coached by Dirk Nowitzki:— Be Mine Melo (@Me_Low76) February 15, 2019
"That's gonna be fun. I'm looking forward to that. Growing up I used to watch a lot of Dirk. So, just learning some things from him...it's gonna be a fun night."
Simmons and Team World will look to win against Team USA for the 4th time in 5 match-ups of this format tonight from the Spectrum center at 9:00 pm.