This season’s crop of first-year players has performed outstanding, leading to a very tight race for Rookie of the Year. Even with plenty of competition, it still looks as if Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons is the front runner for the award and he continues to make history, this time passing a Los Angeles Lakers legend.
On Thursday night Simmons helped lead the Sixers to a win over the New York Knicks, finishing with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. The triple-double was Simmons’ eighth of the year, putting him in elite company.
Simmons move ahead of Magic Johnson for the second most triple-doubles by any rookie in NBA history. Reaching the top of that list isn’t possible at this point for Simmons however, as Oscar Robertson’s 26 triple-doubles, a record set in the 1961, mathematically isn’t reachable at this point of the season.
Nonetheless, to be in that conversation is an impressive feat for Simmons. Of course, he isn’t the only rookie to make some triple-double history this season. Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball became the youngest player ever to record a triple-double back in November.
Ball was just 20 years and 15 days old when he did it.
Ball has two triple-doubles this season, as he and Simmons are two of just three rookies to pull off the feat, and the only two with more than one. Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is the only other rookie with a triple-double this season.
Even amongst an extremely talented rookie class, Simmons has stood out this year and getting his name mentioned with the likes of Magic and Oscar is a true accomplishment. It perhaps is also symbolic of the 76ers head coach Brett Brown reviewing Johnson’s film with his young point guard.
Also on Thursday, Simmons surpassed 500 total assists for the season. Simmons, Johnson and Robertson are the only players to have at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in their rookie seasons.
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