Ben Simmons interview: draft quotes
With the first pick in the 2016 Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers, as expected, selected Ben Simmons. Here's what Simmons had to say after being drafted:
Ben Simmons: I'm happy to be part of the family now.
It's a weight off my chest. I've been looking forward to
this day for a while, so I'm glad I've made history, not
only for myself but my family and Australian basketball.
Question: Ben, after all the buildup, what does it finally feel
like once you heard your name?
Simmons: It honestly feels like all this pressure
just has hopped off me. Now I can relax, but now I
know where I'm going to be. More importantly, I know
where I'm headed and know I can really start working
on what I need to work on for the team.
Question: Your message to everyone back at home who's
supported you and helped you get to this position?
Simmons: I love everyone who's been
supporting me back home in Australia. I'll be back
soon, so you guys will know when I'll be back, and
looking forward to meeting everyone.
Question: I read that you wanted to be in the NBA since
you were seven years old and you accomplished
that goal in 12 years. How does that feel? And do
you have any advice for kids that want to
accomplish their goal?
Simmons: It feels amazing, honestly. I can't
even -- my legs were shaking when I was on stage.
Anything you want to do, you can do, honestly. I've
been wanting to do that since I was five, six, seven,
and I've finally accomplished that.
Question: Yesterday in Melbourne, Dante Exum said that
he can't wait to match up on you when you start
playing in the league. Who's the Australian you
most want to match up on?
Simmons: Dante. I'm definitely going at him
when we play.
Question: Why is that?
Simmons: We've had rivalries since we were like
seven years old. It's kind of weird seeing that
relationship change from playing in the backyard to
now we're going to be playing in the NBA.
Question: You posted on Instagram the other day, "Trust
the process." What inspired you to do that?
Simmons: Sixers. I'm a part of the family now,
so you've got to trust it. You've got to go with it and
you've got to work hard.
Question: Did you have any sort of understanding of
where that phrase came from or what it means?
Simmons: A little bit. A little bit. I know it's been
said around a lot of the Sixers' community, so I'm a little
bit aware of it.
Question: Lots of young guys in your position have had
knock-back setbacks along the way. Did you have
any of those, and what would you say to those
people now who might have told you, you may not
Simmons: Nothing, honestly. They've seen me
make it, so I mean, there's a lot of work that goes into
it. There's always going to be people who say you
can't do things, but obviously I've worked hard enough
to get here, and I'm blessed.
Question: And to the young kids who might be doubting
themselves right now, what would you say?
Simmons: You can do anything, honestly.
You've just got to put the work in and the time. You've
just got to believe in yourself.
Question: You said you now can get to work the things you
need to work on. What are some of those things
specifically as you want to adapt your game to the
Simmons: Everything, from eating right to
getting my body right for 82 games, to dribbling, to
shooting, just everything, ball handling. I think
everything really needs to be worked on because
you're going to that next level where guys have been in
the league for 10-plus years, so they have a lot of
Question: Last year when Jahlil Okafor sat here he said
that Joel Embiid and texted him the night before.
Has he reached out to you at all?
Simmons: Yeah, he texted me about 30 minutes
ago saying "good luck". So yeah, we did talk.
Question: What was it like to share this moment with your
mom, your dad and your grandparents from just
around the corner here in the Bronx?
Simmons: It's amazing. Seeing my dad play
professionally in Australia and my grandpa, he wasn't
into sports or anything like that, he just worked hard.
And being able to share that with him and see where
his son has gone and taken it and having me be here,
and having them there is very special to me.
Question: Going to Philadelphia, how much work do you
think you're going to have do with the team to get it
potentially into the playoffs?
Simmons: A lot of work every day. I think overall
it just one of those things that takes time.
Question: Seeing as how good you were at LSU at ball
handling, when the Sixers met with you did they
talk to you being the primary ball handler on the
Simmons: Definitely. They know I can play the
point forward position and I'm comfortable bringing the
ball up, so I think that's one of those things we'll talk
about and discuss a lot.
Question: Last year at LSU you had tremendous individual
success but not quite the level of team success
that you might have liked to have. What did you
learn from that experience and what do you think
you can bring from that into the NBA?
Simmons: Everything is not going to be perfect.
You've got to learn to fight through adversity, the
struggles or whatever happens during the season, but
you've got to play through it, keep working, and things
change. Players get hurt, but you've just got to play
Question: You mentioned your family, your father, your
grandfather in the Bronx. How much did their
upbringing influence you to getting where you are
Simmons: A lot. Dad, he's a hard worker. He's
the type of player that was a bruiser. He wasn't finesse
or anything like that. We're two completely different
players. But I think the way he was raised rubbed off
on me a lot.
Question: Curious, what do you remember most about
Allen Iverson and Pat's or Geno's cheese steak?
Simmons: A lot of people don't know that I
actually had a poster of AI when I was young in my
room. I was a big diamond-cut poster of him with the
braids. But no, I just remember him being one of those
point guards, a smaller guy with braids and corn rows
and the headbands. I remember I used to have the
corn rows when I was younger. He was one of those
players that fought every day.
Question: Pat's or Geno's cheese steak?
Simmons: Which one did I have? Oh, yeah,
cheese steaks. I'm going to try a lot of them. I've got
to find my spot, apparently.
Question: You're going to be in the NBA for quite a while.
Do you expect we should be having an NBA game
in Australia, potentially in Melbourne?
Simmons: I think we should get that done
definitely. If I was a kid I'd definitely want to see some
NBA players come to Australia, but no, that would be
Question: Lots of pressure goes with being the No. 1 pick.
Are you ready to handle it, and are you ready to
lead this team?
Simmons: Definitely. I'm ready to just put in the
work. As long as I'm working as hard as I can, that's
all I can really ask of myself.