Ben Simmons was an odd get for LSU. Not a major basketball program, LSU seemed to be a weird destination for the No. 1 NBA prospect in the 2016 draft. Then again, Simmons was open about being a one-and-done player with the Tigers, and he did eventually make his exit to the Philadelphia 76ers after leading his college squad to a 19-14 season.
Simmons should have been making money in the NBA from day one, skipping the NCAA nonsense altogether. He was that good, and anyone who saw him live in high school would agree.
Not many believe the current age mandate works for the NBA. Most now seem to be in favor of what happens in college baseball, where athletes can depart for the majors after being drafted in high school or head to university where they can come out after their junior year.
Simmons knows what the deal is.
In a recent interview on Uninterrupted, Simmons talked about how beneficial his time in Philadelphia has been as he prepares for the life of an NBA athlete, and how LSU failed to lend him knowledge on the subject:
“If we didn’t, a lot of people would be losing money. I think that’s the main reason. Obviously, the NCAA if they didn’t have the stars coming through then people wouldn’t be watching.
“I think I would have learned a lot more by being around professional athletes. Looking at it now, I don’t even know what I learned financially or just being a person at LSU. I think I’ve learned a lot more with this last year being in Philly than I did at LSU”
The whole interview with Simmons is pretty interesting in that it’s clear that Simmons is well-versed — not that many folks have first hand experience with this subject matter, mind you — and supports changing the system during his playing time.
Watch the whole thing if you have time. Meanwhile, the NBA needs to let these kids get paid.