After a little bit of controversy, Ben Simmons has officially been named the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year.
Beating out Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum, the 21-year-old out of LSU averaged 15.8 points per game along with 8.1 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. Unprecedented numbers that rank Simmons among the greatest rookies of all time.
The controversy however, comes with the fact that Simmons was drafted two years ago but had to miss his first season due to injury. Had Simmons played a game in the 2016-17 season, he’d have been ineligible for the award.
Something Donovan Mitchell made sure the NBA world know about as he wore a jumper to a regular season game with the definition of ‘rookie’ on it; An athlete playing his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team.
Regardless of the off-court drama and all the controversy behind it, it was a superb year for rookies with many showing they are here to stay.
Had this award been for the post-season, it’d be hard to look past Jayson Tatum. Leading the Boston Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals with both their All-Stars out, Tatum averaged 18.5 points and just under five rebounds a game in the postseason.
For the regular season however, the NBA has proclaimed that Simmons was the best rookie in 2018. With his 12 triple-doubles and endless record-breaking, it was never in doubt to some fans who’d end up winning the award.