CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Ben Simmons plans to soak up some knowledge from the other NBA All-Stars.
“I’m coming in trying to learn as much as I can,” the 76ers point guard said of first All-Star appearance. “You know, being on Team 'Bron with so many different talented [players].
“For me, really trying to pick up some things and learn from them.”
The All-Star Game is Sunday night at the Spectrum Center. But on Friday, Simmons was far from a pupil in the Rising Star Challenge at the same arena.
The Australian native handed out lessons in a 161-144 World team loss to the U.S. team. The contest pits 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against 10 first- and second-year international players from the league.
The 2018 rookie of the year finished with 28 points on 14-for-17 shooting. Simmons also had five rebounds, six assists, three steals, and four turnovers in 20 minutes, 34 seconds.
The Chicago Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen added 21 points for the World team. But U.S. team power forward Kyle Kuzma, of the Los Angeles Lakers, had a game-high 35 points, earning MVP honors.
Simmons missed his first shot – an alley-oop dunk – 16 seconds into the game. However, he went on to make his next 11 shots in the first half.
His first four baskets came on layups. Then he had a dunk before scoring on another layup. That gave him 12 of World team’s first 19 points.
His next basket came on an alley-oop off the backboard from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Cedi Osman with 8:07 left in the second quarter. Simmons’ next two baskets came on a dunk and an alley-oop dunk.
He had 18 points, two rebounds, two assists, three steals and two turnovers in 11:10 of action in the first half. By halftime, the U.S. team built a commanding, 83-71 lead.
Simmons went on to make his first two shot attempts of the third quarter before missing a dunk at the 5:37 mark.
Former 76ers Bobby Jones and Chris Webber are among 13 finalists selected Friday for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The 2019 Hall of Fame inductees will be announced in April at the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis. The Class of 2019 will be enshrined during Hall of Fame festivities in Springfield, Mass., in September.
Jones is recognized for being the standout sixth man on the Sixers’ 1983 NBA championship team. He was an eight-time NBA All-Defensive first-team selection. The winner of the 1983 Sixth Man award was also a four-time All-Star.
The Charlotte native played four seasons with the Denver Nuggets of the ABA and NBA before being traded to the Sixers on Aug. 16, 1978.
Webber became a five-time All-Star and winner of the 1994 Rookie of the Year award in his 15 NBA seasons. The Sixers acquired him in a trade from the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 23, 2005. They waived him on Jan. 11, 2007.
Webber also played for the Golden State Warriors, the Washington Bullets/Wizards, and Detroit Pistons during his career.
Marques Johnson, Jack Sikma, Ben Wallace and Paul Westphal are this year’s four first-time finalists.