Ben Simmons named National Basketball Association rookie of the year

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A two-time NBL champion as a head coach (1994 and 2002) and one-time NBL Coach of the Year (1994), Brown spent time as an assistant coach with the Australian national team between 1995 and 2003, before being tabbed the team's head coach in 2009, a position he held until 2012.

"I'd like to thank my family to start out with. family, friends, you know I wouldn't be here without them", Simmons said in his acceptance speech.

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"NBA rosters are still fresh at that point so they're still figuring each other out so I think there will be a few opportunities and hopefully we can put ourselves on the map with a win".

The three candidates were Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons, Utah Jazz combo guard Donovan Mitchell and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum.

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Former NBA star Andrew Bogut says the concept of five Australian NBL teams taking on the might of the NBA would have been laughed out of America just a few years ago, but now a win is also achievable. National Basketball Association rules dictated Simmons was a rookie in 2017-18 but that doesn't mean Mitchell didn't fight for the award. The new Rookie of the Year's father, David Simmons, played in the NBL for the Melbourne Tigers (now Melbourne United; 1989-96), the Newcastle Falcons (1997, 1998-99), Sydney Kings (1998) and Canberra Cannons (1999-2001).

Mitchell wore pointed shirts to games, including one that defined the word rookie as: 'An athlete playing his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team'.

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"That doesn't take anything away from Jayson or Donovan". Mitchell even arrived to Monday's awards show in a van that underscored his point. He shot 54.5 percent from the field but did not make a 3-pointer in 11 attempts. The 13th overall pick posted 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest and helped the Jazz to a 48-34 record.