Ben Simmons' impressive rookie season has drawn praise from all corners of the NBA and he can add Philadelphia 76ers legend Julius 'Dr. J' Erving to the chorus of supporters.
Erving, who was in town for the unveiling of his statue on the Sixers Legends Walk spoke glowingly of the Aussie point guard ahead of their win over the Nets, affirming his potential as a generational talent.
“Once in a decade, maybe once in a lifetime-type player,” Erving said of Simmons' skillset, via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"He’s able to make everybody better immediately each and every time down the floor, guys are spotting up or looking to cut or keying off of triggers that come out of his handling skills.”
Today's effort marked another milestone for Simmons, who became the second player in NBA history to record at least 1,200 points, 600 assists and 600 rebounds in his rookie season. The other being Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.
In the win over the Nets, Simmons posted his 36th double-double of the season, the most by any rookie this season. His 11 triple-doubles is good enough for third in the league, trailing only Russell Westbrook and LeBron James.
Not bad company.
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) April 4, 2018
Whilst Simmons has been stuffing the stat sheet regularly this season, Erving singled out the 6-foot-10 floor general's ability to get his teammates involved and control the game.
“Sometimes it looks like he’s got eyes in the back of his head,” Erving added.
"Because he sees and feels one of his guys making a run to the hoop or spotting up at certain positions. That’s just a gifted player that we are very fortunate to have on our team.”
During the Sixers' 11-game win streak, Simmons is averaging 13.4 points, 11.3 assists and 10.3 rebounds per game.