To understand the impact Ben Simmons has had on the Philadelphia 76ers in his rookie NBA season, consider what the team did for Australia Day.
For last Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bulls, the 76ers’ stadium was transformed for Australian Heritage Night.
The 22,000 spectators were given boxing kangaroo t-shirts and introduced to the delights of Four’n Twenty meat pies.
As one local noted with a laugh, one of the NBA’s oldest franchises still hasn’t even had an Italian heritage night yet.
And Simmons didn’t disappoint, leading his side out and notching a match-winning performance, reaching a triple-double early in the third quarter.
He said heritage night was “perfect” and while he’s thriving in America, he still misses home.
“I don’t get many chances to go back. I usually go back once a year, and do my camp-out there, but I definitely miss it,” Simmons told 7.30.
“A lot of family, a lot of friends back home, and just the culture.
“We’re so down to earth and love our sports and just love having a good time.