There have been two standout rookies in the NBA this season, and they’re now fighting over who deserves the Rookie of the Year award.
Ben Simmons has become one of the leaders of the Philadelphia Sixers. He averages 15.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. The 6-foot, 10-inch point guard has notched 12 triple-doubles this season, the second most by a rookie in NBA history.
On the other hand, Utah Jazz rookie shooting guard Donovan Mitchell has exceeded even the loftiest of expectations. The Jazz lost their best player, Gordon Hayward, in free agency last year and were not expected to compete for the playoffs this year. Mitchell has more than made up for that absence, leading the team in scoring with an average of 20.5 points a game.
Both teams have a shot at clinching the third spot in their respective conferences on the final night of the season. (RELATED: Ben Simmons Arrogantly Guarantees He’s The ROY)
In an interview earlier this week, when asked about who Simmons thought was the Rookie of the Year, he responded, “Me, 100 percent.”
Mitchell responded on Twitter and then showed up the Vivint Smart Home Arena Tuesday night wearing a sweatshirt that had the definition of the word “rookie” on it.
Simmons then shot back after their game in Atlanta, telling reporters, “If his argument is I’m not a rookie, if that’s the only argument he has, I’m in pretty good shape.”
Both rookies have had tremendous seasons and they’ll be able to make an impact in the postseason. But only time will tell who will be the 2017-18 Rookie of the Year.