Ben Simmons has gotten off to a spectacular start to his career. Spectacular enough, in fact, that he’s putting himself in some pretty elite company when you compare what he’s doing to what other NBA rookies have done before.
Before moving on, I want to clarify what it means to compare things. Think of the phrase “that’s comparing apples and oranges.” And that’s because apples and oranges are essentially different things, but they are both round, delicious, sugary fruits. There are ways they compare to one another; you just compare them with one another. The point of this article does not compare Simmons with any of the great players he’s putting himself on the same page with; it’s merely to demonstrate the similarities between his rookie seasons and theirs.
That’s significant because the list of names is pretty much elite. He’s not necessarily going to be a Hall of Famer, but he sure looks like a round, delicious, sugary fruit based on the early returns. So to speak
Let’s start with his overall numbers. He’s averaging 18.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 7.4 assists. Here are the players who have averaged 15/7/7 in their first years, per Basketball-Reference.com: