Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons has hit the ground running in the NBA and it has resulted in a successful start to the campaign for his team.
The 21-year-old has put up some incredible numbers to begin his career in the league and continued that on Friday night as the 76ers secured a 121-110 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Simmons posted his second triple-double of the season in the win with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Once again already this year, the youngster has put himself in elite company with two of the game's greatest ever players with this latest stat line.
He has now become just the second rookie in NBA history to record two triple-doubles in the first nine games of his career. Before him, only Oscar Robertson had accomplished that feat.
If that wasn't impressive enough, the Aussie also became the second player in 76ers history to achieve that same accomplishment. The only other player to do that was Wilt Chamberlain.
Anytime you are mentioned in the same breath as two Hall of Famers, it means you are producing amazing things on the basketball court and that's exactly what the point forward is doing.
“It’s just amazing to me, there’s nothing else I can really say about it,” Simmons said, when notified of his latest milestone.
“It’s an honour to be there.”
His displays haven't gone unnoticed and he recently received some high praise from a true legend of the game.
In an interview with news.com.au, Kobe Bryant said: “He’s a phenomenal player. He’s just getting started too.”
Getting the seal of approval from the Black Mamba was something the young star enjoyed hearing.
“From Kobe, that’s awesome to hear,” Simmons said. “From one of the greatest to ever play the game, that means a lot. But I got a long way to go so I’ll stay in the gym.”
For the season, Simmons is now incredibly close to averaging a triple-double, as he's putting up 18 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game.
Of course, it'll be hugely difficult for him to actually average a triple-double, but to be this close as a rookie is truly remarkable.
His terrific individual performances have led to collective success on the floor for the Sixers too as they are now above .500 for the first time in almost four years.
Their big win over the Pacers was their fourth on the bounce and they are finally clicking into gear with the talented young players they have at their disposal.
The 76ers have arrived and they have an incredible future superstar to build around.