Before Ben Simmons arrived in Philadelphia as the 76ers’ first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the former LSU Tiger measured just under 6-foot-10. Simmons’ size was one of his best selling points. The Australian native could not only snare rebounds and go to work inside, he could also handle the ball like a point guard, dish it like one, and shoot from the outside. His frame also allowed him to guard almost anyone on the perimeter and even beneath the hoop, à la LeBron James. And though we didn’t get a chance to watch Simmons display his talents this season, while he recovered from a broken foot, the reasons to get excited for his debut continue to grow exponentially.
First brought up by NBA great World B. Free during a recent 76ers television broadcast and confirmed by a 76ers beat reporter, Simmons has apparently grown almost two full inches since the NBA season began, which means he now stands almost 7 feet tall. Here’s what Free said on Fox Sports Ohio’s broadcast of a recent Cavs-76ers game:
“It seems like Ben Simmons grew about another two inches since he’s been here. I told him that the other day, I said, ‘Ben, you look like you’ve grown another two inches since you’ve been here.’ His arms are long, he’s lean, he’s in shape. When I watched him in practice—just in practice—he’s like a baby Magic Johnson. He’s practiced with LeBron—he worked out with LeBron—so LeBron’s probably going to beat him up and make him strong.”
While Free could’ve just been speculating, his claim was quickly backed up by Jon Johnson, who covers the 76ers for WIP-FM. Johnson said that Simmons indeed confirmed his mini-growth spurt when he asked him about it.
As the NBA patiently awaits Simmons’ debut, his legend continues to grow off the court. Simmons been casually throwing down ridiculous dunks in pregame warmups, and he’s now a point guard in the body of a 7-footer. Good luck with that next season, defenses.
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