With the Eastern Conference up for grabs this season, the Philadelphia 76ers hope to move to the next level with a trip to the NBA Finals. Following a heartbreaking loss against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, Ben Simmons was determined to improve as an overall player. The 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year has already made his mark on the league in just two seasons, although he wasn’t necessarily satisfied with his sophomore campaign
“I feel like this summer I fell in love with the game again,” revealed Simmons to The Associated Press during an interview.
“I kind of got back to who I was and having fun with the game. I felt like the past season I lost that enjoyment side of it but I feel like this summer has been huge for me. Just the work I’ve been putting in, I kinda fell in love with putting that work in again and I’ve been in the gym every day working and the results have been paying off so I’m excited for the season to start,” added Simmons in his interview.
It’s surely an encouraging sign for Sixers fans as Simmons appears to be a man on a mission in his preparations for the 2019-20 NBA season. Despite earning a spot on the 2019 NBA All-Star team, Simmons aims to make major strides to build on past success. Being the first overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, there have been tremendous expectations for him among fans. However, this past postseason showed that the Sixers will undoubtedly need Simmons to reach his full potential in order to win a championship.
While the departure of Jimmy Butler will be felt on the court, the Sixers have new faces who could fit well next to their star players. But at the end of the day, the team will only go as far as Simmons and Joel Embiid take them. The former’s unwillingness to shoot three-pointers has hurt the team on the offensive end. After two campaigns in the NBA, Simmons is still chasing his first made three-pointer, where he has shot 0 for 18 to date.
In recent months, Simmons’ name had floated in trade rumors, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. It is a highly unlikely scenario given his recent five-year, $170 million maximum contract extension with the Sixers. With Simmons finding his love for the game of basketball again, it will be interesting to see whether his increased workload leads to more three-pointers and wins.