Ben Simmons – he wanted to play Cricket for Australia

“Every time I step on the floor or whatever I’m doing, I’m always representing Australia and especially Philadelphia,” he said post-game. “I have two homes now, it’s an amazing feeling I’m representing something much bigger than myself and my family.”

In 11 minutes, Simmons threw down 18 points, two rebounds and two assists. – Philly 76’s 114 vs Orlando Magic 106, 5/3/19

Ben Simmons athleticism is clear when you watch an NBA game and like many stars, he excelled at many sports as a youngster.

The 22-year-old Aussie said he showed plenty of promise in rugby league and Aussie rules but the Philadelphia 76ers star said he couldn’t go down the route of becoming a star cricketers with one major roadblock holding back his potential.

“I’m six foot 10 (208cm tall),” Simmons told reporters. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a six foot 10 cricket player.”

He’s pretty right about that, the two tallest Australian cricketers were Peter George and Bruce Reid, both six foot eight.

But the tallest first-class and international cricketer is Mohammed Irfan who is seven foot one.

Still, the Aussie star found his sport, making Australian basketball history as the first Aussie to be selected in the NBA All-Star game, which will be played Monday at midday AEDT and will be live on ESPN and Kayo Sports.

But first Simmons will play for the World Team against the best young US stars in the Rising Stars game, the traditional match between the NBAs best first and second-year players.

While Simmons was at the centre of an All-Star first with a trade for Russell Westbrook, Simmons said he was looking forward to working with Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic, who he predicts to follow in his footsteps and be named the NBA Rookie of the Year.

Despite his cricket career not panning out, Simmons is still eager to represent Australia however, potentially as early as two exhibition games against Team USA in Melbourne in August and even the Boomers’ World Cup campaign in China.

“I’m not really focused on it right now, but I know when I have the right opportunity to go play and represent Australia I’ll do that,” Simmons said.

Simmons was embroiled in controversy the past week when news broke he was interested in working out with Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers legend and president of the team’s basketball operations.

Simmons explained his desire to learn from the game’s greats.

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“I mean, whenever you have an opportunity to talk to a Hall of Famer regardless of who it is you want to get some information and learn from them,” Simmons said.

Johnson and the Lakers, keen to add All-Stars to their roster, have been fined for breaching the NBA’s tampering rules the past year.

The NBA cleared Johnson and the Lakers on Tuesday after finding it was the 76ers who initiated the contact “with the Los Angeles Lakers by requesting a meeting between Johnson and Simmons”.
Simmons was asked to name his basketball role models growing up and he chose James and Johnson.

“Somebody I looked up to as a player was LeBron, for sure,” Simmons said. “I watched a lot of Magic highlights.

“So I think those are the two guys I have really looked at.”

— with Peter Mitchell, AAP

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The NBA is hotting up. Ben Simmons is the current MVP on his latest performances. Judging by the comments on some of the videos, the US fans are somewhat miffed that an Aussie can stroll in and take centre stage. Now it appears 13 year NBA veteran, Andrew Bogart, currently a free agent after a year with the Sydney Kings, is being courted by a number of clubs as well.

The standards required to achieve NBA professionalism start with the playing surface young players are trained on. It’s vitally important that the Timber Sports Flooring is FIFA approved and fully maintained to the highest standard. Ben Simmons started playing Basketball as a child in Knox – Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs.

Nellakir are the leading installers of genuine Sprung Timber Sports Flooring utilising the ASF/Horner range of products to achieve the highest standards of professional playing surfaces, whether at major stadiums like the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna, the Bendigo Stadium or many more first class locations, or maybe just your local State Primary School.

Nellakir – the experts in Construction and Maintenance of all Timber Sports Flooring.

Nellakir – Champion floors for future champions.

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Nellakir use Australasian Sports Flooring Horner Systems – exclusively – with Pacific Seating retractable seating.

Nellakir use Australasian Sports Floors sprung timber sports floors exclusively. Australasian Sports Flooring systems are the only FIBA approved systems available in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific). ASF Horner Hardwood Flooring has been setting the industry standard since 1891. International events such as the Sydney Olympic Games 2000, the Los Angeles Championships of Basketball, World University Games, Pan American Games, Goodwill Games, European Championships and since 1983 every NCAA Final Four game and NBA All-Stars games are all played on the ASF Horner flooring systems.

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Nellakir use Forestry Certified Flooring ensuring a fully Sustainable Flooring System. Nellakir utilises ASF Horner flooring, ASF Horner exclusively use selected plantation timbers as opposed to Native Forest coups. To ensure ongoing sustainability, Court managers and organisations can adopt the ’S’ maintenance program upon completion. Nellakir use ASF Horner timbers with full Forestry Certification. The certification means a complete history of the hardwood flooring surface can be supplied to the client. Forestry Certification certificates validate that all environmental and government regulations with regard to Forestry production have been adopted and adhered to.

Nellakir also provides the Pacific Seating range of Stadium Seating – “The next Generation in Retractable Seating Systems” – The Glide Series.

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The Glide system is quieter to operate, stronger in its design and more user friendly for facility staff. Glide provides individual seating for each patron (no platform seating) – space for every person. The VR1 system provides Disabled patrons with a simple solution as standard specification.

 

seating007d colour chartThe Glide Series is superb in Competition Court situations. For multipurpose facilities and gymnasiums the SBS Seat is the recommended option. Comfortable, generous seat spaces, ergonomically contoured for spectator comfort. A standard range of bright, warm colours is available – or you can choose a combination of colours to suit your purposes from the SBS seat colour range.

The Cook Seat is the most popular seating option in the Pacific Seating range. This seat provides numerous different applications. An economical nose mounting seat with a folding back or as a riser mounted seat with a tip up base. Options provide you the client with the best seating arrangement for your purposes. Variable seat spaces and heights are available.

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For further information both on ASF Horner Sprung Timber Sports Flooring systems and on the accompanying Pacific Seating purpose built retractable seating, please call 03 9467 6126 to book an appointment for a free consultation. Or leave your details here and our support staff will contact you to assist you with your enquiry.

Nellakir – for Expert Construction and Programmed Maintenance of all Sports Flooring.

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Nellakir – the Sports Flooring for Champions.