Simmons ready to prove why he was the No.1 choice
BASKETBALL: Australian star Ben Simmons is determined to be noticed as he begins his NBA career a year later than expected.
The 21-year-old missed the whole of the last campaign with a broken foot after being picked No.1 in the draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.
He said he was ready to take last season by storm but says he will soon make sure to get back on the fans' radar for this coming season.
"They'll remember," Simmons said at the 76ers' media day.
"I came to the States when I was 15.
"Nobody knew who I was. So I feel like I'm back at that stage and I've got to prove myself again, which is fine.
"I'm looking forward to that part."
Simmons, from Melbourne, said he's been dominating five-on-five at practice after using the year off to steel himself mentally and physically.
"It feels normal to me. There's not really many people who can guard me off the dribble the full length of the court," he said.
"There's potential to be a great leader, and I believe that.
"I believe I can lead this team, even if I'm one of the youngest guys on the team.
"Compared to last year, I'm a much better player. It's not even close."
Simmons has declared himself 100% fit ahead of Wednesday morning's (AEST) start to training camp, where he broke his foot last year.