April 21, 2018

Donovan Mitchell on Ben Simmons and ROY: "I really don't care"

12 April 2018, 07:06 | Ken Black

NBA: Internationals Simmons, Jokic sweep Player of the Week awards

Sixers Head Coach Brett Brown: Ben Simmons 'Stone-Cold' Rookie Of The Year

If I wasn't a rookie this year, he would've definitely had it.

Mitchell clearly is suggesting Simmons had an advantage with his extra time as an observer.

This all started after Simmons told ESPN's Chris Hynes he would pick himself "100%" for rookie of the year.

Mitchell, however, recently poked some fun at Simmons by wearing a sweatshirt with the definition of "rookie" printed on it.

It reads: "An athlete playing his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team". "But at the end of the day, this is my first year in the league". Simmons also stated there were no other rookies who have caught his attention this year. The Australian native had posted at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in 57 games this season.

For a team that lost all-star guard Gordon Hayward to free agency during the offseason, Mitchell has picked up much of the slack left behind and done so with minimum fuss. As a result, Simmons is the first rookie in National Basketball Association history to average at least 8.0 assists on a team with 50-plus wins.

Once the playoffs get going, expect all rookie of the year talk to die down from the players.

The award is the latest sign of the impact players from outside the USA are having on the New York-based league, with a record number of global players expected to compete in the playoffs when they tip off on April 14. From the looks of it, it appears to be a two-man race between Mitchell and Simmons.

Green's belief will only be reinforced after the Utah guard scored 22 points to help the Jazz defeat the Warriors 119-79 in a crushing win Tuesday night. Blake Griffin unanimously won the 2010-11 Rookie of the Year Award after sitting out a season because of injury, with no one really questioning his rookie status.

The main knock against Simmons?

The Utah Jazz have now improved to 48-33, riding a six-game win streak as they head to Portland for the regular-season finale with a chance to lock up the Western Conference's No. 3 seed entering the postseason. Will we get co-Rookie of the Year recipients, like when Grant Hill and Jason Kidd shared the crown in 1995?

The rookie of the year award is a prestigious one when you see the past winners and when you consider shoe companies offer significant cash bonuses for the victor.

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