In Sydney this week, Ben Simmons spoke about being the NBA 2K19 cover star in Australia and New Zealand and how it was a surreal experience. Speaking at an event at Throwbacks on Oxford Street, Simmons said he never expected to be able to do something so special and meaningful.
In his debut season in the NBA, Simmons set plenty of records. He’s only the third NBA rookie ever to have scored 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists. He’s also second only to Oscar Robertson for most triple-doubles in a rookie season.
Wearing an incredible gold and diamond Kangaroo pendant, Simmons spoke about how important Australia was to him and how grateful he is to be so loved and welcomed in Australia.
Ben Simmons NBA 2K19
In a video released by 2K, showing Simmons being motion-captured for NBA 2K19, he talks about how he’s always played NBA 2K at friends’ houses or on the road. Now that he’s going to be on the cover in Australia and New Zealand he says that it’s surreal that he’ll be able to inspire a new generation of players like he was inspired by LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Lamar Odom.
In his rookie season, Simmons also broke Allen Iverson’s record of 567 assists and now holds the all-time assist record for a rookie season. Simmons was also part of the 76ers playoffs team with a record of 52-30, the best team performance since 2001.
During the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Simmons was the first rookie since Magic Johnson to achieve a triple-double and the fifth ever in history.
Simmons also spoke briefly about his relationship with LeBron James and spoke about how he looked up to him and felt so humbled to call him a brother and a friend. He also revealed that within the 76ers, there’s a friendly rivalry within NBA 2K.
However, Simmons is now actually in the game and has had his movement and style motion-captured and added to the game. Simmons said, “I was in the game before, but now I’m actually able to put my moves into the game.
“The way I move, the way I jump and dunk, pass the ball, dribble, whatever it is, it’s actually me.”
It’s not all smiles and rainbows though as Simmons reveals that he had no say in his player rating which currently sits at 87. LeBron James, for comparison, sits at 98.
When asked if his player rating feels low, Simmons jokes that it’s very low, but goes on to say he’s simply happy to be in the game and part of the NBA 2K franchise.
It’s a huge honour to be recognised on the first-ever Australian cover for NBA 2K and represent the 76ers.
The Aussie fans are super passionate about basketball and specifically NBA 2K, so it’s very cool to be an ambassador for both.
2K Head of International Communications Wouter Van Vugt said that Simmon’s rating could easily fluctuate based in his real-world performance. “Say Ben’s on 87 now, plays a great two or three games, we could put him up to 88, and that’s part of those updates.”
Van Vugt also said that Simmon’s was incredibly excited to be part of the franchise and that he was a great NBA 2K player as well.
Congratulations to Ben Simmons on being the cover star.
NBA 2K19 will be available on September 11, 2018.
Leo Stevenson was flown to Sydney as a guest of 2K for the purposes of reporting on the event.