Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has repeatedly deflected any questions of whether he should win Rookie of the Year.
76ers point guard Ben Simmons answers directly.
Simmons, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:
“Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent,” Simmons told ESPN at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday.
“I think I have been playing solid all year,” he continued. “If you look at the numbers, you will see. People who know the game know.”
Asked what rookies have caught his attention this year, he didn’t mince words.
“None,” Simmons responded promptly. “I want to be where the greats are. So, for me, I watch the guys like [Kevin Durant], [LeBron James], [Stephen] Curry, Russell [Westbrook]. Guys like that. That’s where I want to be. I think for me, that’s what I love to watch.”
I’m here for Simmons’ cockiness. He backs it up and, I believe, deserves Rookie of the Year.
But Mitchell has had an attention-catching rookie year. For Simmons to ignore Mitchell looks like an intentional slight. Nearly everyone sees Rookie of the Year as a two-man race between Simmons and Mitchell, and Simmons knows that.
Simmons isn’t here to soothe Mitchell’s feelings, though. Simmons wants to boost his own profile, and he’s doing it.