Is Ben Simmons a rookie? “I don’t really think so,” says Phoenix Suns’ Josh Jackson

Ben Simmons
Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, front right, battles with Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) for a loose ball as Suns forward Jared Dudley, back right, watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Phoenix Suns guard, Josh Jackson spoke with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Press Play Below To Listen!

Last week Philadelphia 76ers guard, Ben Simmons was named a finalist in the league’s Rookie of the Year award race.

Simmons, the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft sat out last season after breaking his right foot and didn’t make his NBA debut until October 18, 2017 against the Washington Wizards.

Simmons posted 18 points and 10 rebounds in the 76ers’ 120-115 season-opening loss.

So, he’s a rookie, right?

It depends on who you ask. The Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell doesn’t think so.

Mitchell’s vantage point isn’t exactly the most objective, however. Mitchell, like Simmons, is also a finalist in the league’s Rookie of the Year race.

Utah Jazz guard, Donovan Mitchell pleads his Rookie of the Year case on his hoodie. Photo Provided Courtesy of Adidas

Mitchell recently wore a sweatshirt with the definition of the word “rookie” on it to question Simmons’ eligibility. Mitchell and Simmons are also going toe-to-toe with rising Boston Celtics guard, Jayson Tatum for the top rookie nod.

Nonetheless, Simmons likes his odds: “Whatever the decision is, it is,” he said recently.

“But obviously, I’d take myself over anybody.”

For those keeping score at home, this season, all finalists involved and their respective stats:

Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz: 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.5 steals

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers: 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds*, 8.2 assists, 1.7 steals

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics: 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals

So again: Is Ben Simmons a rookie? “I don’t really think so,” Phoenix Suns guard, Josh Jackson told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.

The fourth pick in last year’s draft, Jackson averaged 13 points and a shade under 5 rebounds for a Suns team that finished this past season at 21-61; 15th place in the NBA’s Western Conference.

Jackson cites Simmons being drafted two years ago in his logic. “In the league for a year,” he said.

“And sitting out and then playing the next year, I think that does absolutely give you an advantage. But by definition you’re still a rookie.”

The winner of the NBA’s Rookie of the Year will be announced at next month’s NBA Awards show in Los Angeles, CA.


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