NBA

Ben Simmons.

Ben Simmons joins Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson in elite club after first triple-double

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In just four games, Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons has proven that he has been worth the wait.

After being selected with the number one overall pick in 2016, the Australian missed the whole of last season after suffering a foot injury in practice.

Instead of rushing him back, the Sixers decided to take a patient approach and allowed him to return to full fitness for this campaign.

After making his long-awaited NBA debut last week, the 21-year-old has made an impressive start to his career by putting up some historic numbers.

Simmons became just the fifth player ever to begin his playing career with at least 10 points, 10 boards, and five assists in each of his first two games, joining the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson.

In his fourth outing last night, the LSU product went one better and recorded his first triple-double, once again joining Robertson in an elite club.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers

The youngster tallied a career-high 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 97-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons. The LSU product is the first Australian to have a triple-double in the NBA.

He is the first rookie to put up a triple-double since Art "Hambone" Williams in 1967. LeBron James, by comparison, took until mid-way through his second NBA season to achieve his first.

The 'Big O' was the only other player to accomplish the feat, putting up three triple-doubles in his first four games as a rookie during the 1960-61 season.

Simmons will certainly do well to carve out a career like Robertson who averaged 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists in his Hall of Fame career.

In his quartet of appearances, the young Aussie is averaging 17.4 points, 10 rebounds and 6.6 assists which are terrific numbers for a first-year player.

The numbers reflect his versatility on the court as he is the legitimate point guard for the 76ers despite his 6'10" frame.

Head coach Brett Brown was keen to see Simmons put his arsenal of skills on display at this position and will certainly have been pleased to see it in full effect on Monday night.

But the Melbourne-born man was happier to get his first win in the league and get the team off the mark after a 0-3 start to the year.

"It's awesome to have a triple-double, but at the same time, it's even better to have a win," Simmons said.

Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Wizards

“Our team played well together and we played the right way. I’m just happy we got our first one.”

It's easy to see why he's the early favourite for Rookie of the Year and Philly must be delighted to see him healthy and playing at such a high level already.

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Atlantic Division
Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers
Allen Iverson

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