“Australia’s first NBA All-Star…”
Despite Kyrie Irving's entrance being similarly announced back in 2014, tonight remained a proud moment for Australia when Ben Simmons, who grew up in Victoria, made his appearance at the All-Star game.
Simmons played 17 minutes and recorded 10 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds in his debut All-Star outing, taking the win home together with Team LeBron, who defeated Team Giannis 178-164.
Here's what Simmons had to say after the game.
On the experience: I had a great time. It was what I expected so I think it was just fun to be out there. It was something new and something I hadn’t done before.
Some of the expectations you had and then things that made you say, ‘ok’: Just go out there and do your thing. For me, I always try go out there and just play the right way. That’s what I tried to show tonight.
No defence normally but it looked like there was some defence involved: I was trying to win, for sure. I had a great time and everyone was competing at the end of the game so that was good.
When did the mindset change and you start trying and getting competitive: From the first second I stepped on the floor.
Most memorable part of the weekend: Probably this game for me. It’s the first time I have played in it. Playing with guys like D Wade, Nowitzki hit a three on me. It was cool. It was an amazing experience.
Feeling as you were lying on the court on the bench when the game started: This was the first time I was on the bench for a while. I had a great time.
Feeling when you stepped on the court for the first time: Here we go. Don’t mess up.
Seeing Joel out there: I am always happy for him. He has been playing really well this season. He’s been playing at a high level so it’s good to see him out but I got the win over him today.
What will you take away from the weekend: Just to be at a certain level you have to put in the work. Everybody here deserves it and everybody here works hard so that’s what I take away from it.
Do you enjoy kicking it with LeBron? Always. It’s always great having someone like that around to learn from.
We're looking forward to many more All-Star appearances in the years ahead.