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Ben Simmons named National Basketball Association rookie of the year

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Ben Simmons won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award beating out Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum for the honor. More

Simmons, a 21-year-old born in Melbourne, beat the Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell and the Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum to win what became a contentious battle debated furiously in the United States media, on social platforms and among former and present National Basketball Association players.

Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 81 games this season and helped lead the Sixers to the second round of the playoffs.

It was after the vote deadline when Mitchell was sensational in the Jazz's playoff run and Tatum went head-to-head with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Most of all, he essentially replaced Gordon Hayward, who left the team in free agency last summer. He averaged 13.9 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 48 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range during the regular season.

Simmons was drafted in 2016 out of LSU, but did not play the 2016-17 season while recovering from a broken foot. If Simmons continues to develop into a player that is perennially an MVP candidate, the $400 million projection begins to make more sense.

"I'd like to thank my family to start out with. family, friends, you know I wouldn't be here without them", Simmons said in his acceptance speech.

He also gave a shout out to the other two nominees.

Mitchell kept up the trope Monday, arriving to the awards ceremony in Los Angeles in a van emblazoned with "Rookie?"

"That doesn't take anything away from Jayson or Donovan". It was the culmination of a year of hard work.

Simmons praised this season's rookie class for being strong and said his favorite memory from this season was being able to stay on the floor. The next step is earning an All-Star bid, which all three will have a shot at accomplishing next season.

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