Can Ben Simmons Handle Being a Point Guard in the NBA?
Considerable media and fan speculation has followed the recent announcement that 76ers Brett Brown expects to place Ben Simmons in the point guard position when he returns to the basketball court.
Of course, everyone agrees the point guard position requires a very talented player to carry considerable responsibility. Despite being the number one overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, however, are the Sixers demanding too much from Simmons— 20-year old athlete with no professional experience on an NBA court yet?
The All-Important Point Guard Position
In a nutshell, a point guard can play a pivotal role in winning or losing basketball games. He must demonstrate well-rounded skills, including basketball intelligence, assisting, guarding, and shooting baskets as well. In the past, acclaimed NBA Hall of Famers such as Magic Johnson, John Stockton and Gary Payton have held this vitally-important slot. Needless to say, Brown's decision to place a rookie like Simmons in this position demonstrates considerable trust in his abilities.
Talent From Down-Under
The son of an American father and an Australian mother, no one will deny the fact that Simmons has considerable talent. He began playing basketball at the young age of seven. Although he participated in several sports as a child, he eventually decided to concentrate on basketball, where he excelled. His father, Dave Simmons, worked as a coach in Australia and had played basketball successfully at Oklahoma City University before joining the Melbourne Tigers as a player in 1989.
The young Simmons, who holds dual Australian-U.S. citizenship, spent part of his high school playing basketball at a private academy in Florida, before spending last season at LSU. Although questions lingered about his attitude, the Southeastern Conference still named Simmons the most talented male freshman basketball player of the year in 2016, and he still became the top pick in the 2016 NBA draft at 19 years of age. Training camp gave Simmons the chance to play with some of his Sixers teammates, but a fracture of his fifth metatarsal bone sustained as camp came to a close on September 30, 2016 has sidelined him indefinitely. He’s recently been seen out of his walking boot and back at the gym, but there is still no timetable on his exact return.
Many NBA legends have used the point guard role effectively to showcase their well-rounded basketball skills to great advantage. Not only will Simmons do the same, but he could soon become one of the leading stars in the league in the process (no pun intended). He’s performed exceptionally well as both a high school and college basketball player. Now, barring serious injury upon his return, he seems superbly positioned to enjoy a long, outstanding NBA career.
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