Australian basketballer Ben Simmons, who is enjoying a record-setting-setting rookie season, has suffered an NBA All-Star snub, failing to gain selection to the team.
Simmons, 21, narrowly missed out on being named as a member of the starting line-up last week, finishing third in fan voting among guards behind Boston's Kyrie Irving and Toronto's DeMar DeRozan.
With the reserves being elected via the current crop of NBA coaches rather than fans, media and players as the starters were, there was always a chance that Simmons would fall short of selection among the seven Eastern Conference bench players that were announced on Tuesday night in America.
Unfortunately for the Philadelphia 76ers star, that was indeed the case with John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Kyle Lowry and Bradley Beal being picked ahead of him. Understandably, fans were a bit miffed at this decision, given that only one of those four players had polled better than Simmons in the combined fan, player and media vote.
Despite the snub, Simmons is enjoying a highly successful first season in the NBA, after missing the entirety of last year with injury after being picked No.1 overall in the 2016 draft. He's averaging a little more than 16 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists per game, as Philadelphia sit narrowly inside the playoff places in the east, just ahead of the Detroit Pistons.
Ben Simmons had better numbers across the aboard over Lowry.
Ben Simmons' best case for All-Star: He's one of only 3 players in NBA averaging at least 16 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The others: LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. James and Westbrook also the only to do that in general in the last 10 seasons.??? Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) January 23, 2018
Simmons' surge in popularity has seen his jersey sales skyrocket, now ranking inside the top ten players in the NBA for units sold, ahead of established stars such as Klay Thompson and James Harden.
The NBA All-Star weekend will take play from February 16-18, with a celebrity game on the Friday, dunk and three-point contests on Saturday and the main game on Sunday.