Much has already been said about Australian basketballer Ben Simmons’ talent for the game – and much more is yet to come, ’cause the bloke walked away from today’s NBA Draft as the #1 pick

The Philadelphia 76ers snatched up the Fitzroy-born baller before any other team could get their clammy mitts on his prodigious talents, giving more credence to the years of hype behind the 19-year-old.

While that’s all well and good, and you can find examples of his game with ease, Simmons also demonstrated an equally rare talent on The Project tonight – not being absolutely blown away by the fact that he’d just become a multi-millionaire sports star before the age of 20. 

Speaking to a visibly stoked Lehmo and Waleed Aly, Simmons said he’d already bought a car (and some bags, can’t forget the bags) with his first paycheck… but he sounded downright frugal at the same time, considering the stacks of cash now at his disposal.

Elsewhere, he was open in his praise for compatriots Matthew Dellavedova, who’s been busy crushing tinnies after winning the NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Thon Maker, a former refugee who also entered the Draft at #10.

He said “I think people are just realising there’s a lot of talent out there, and the guys back home work really hard. It may not be the athleticism that they’re looking for, but the basketball IQ.”

On comparisons to living legends like LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal, he said “I’ve got to play my game, and I can’t really worry about who they compare me to on the court.”

 

Australia, it seems we’ve now got another switched-on human with the capacity to absolutely tear it up on the biggest stages in the game. Get hype. 

Source and photo: The Project / Facebook.