SIXERS COACH BROWN: BIG BEN WILL START AS A POINT FORWARD

By Julie Glass

In less than two weeks the Sixers open training camp at Stockton College in Atlantic County.

And no one is happier about that than coach Brett Brown.

Brown appeared on the 97.5 the Fanatic Morning Show today and opened up about how he plans to utilize Ben Simmons in his rookie season, saying that at least for now the 6-foot-10 Australian will primarily play forward:

“There are a few questions that aren’t going to go away and that’s one of them,” Brown said, when asked if he planned on using Simmons as the team’s point guard in 2016-’17. “I feel like if the season started tomorrow I’d put him where I’ve been saying he’s going to play; a four-man. He’ll be a trailing-four. He’s going to have the ball so much rebounding and leading the break that there’s going to be times in the game where he’s going to have the ball more as a traditional one. As the years unfold, we’re going to judge it better.

“I completely feel that the strength of Ben Simmons is going to be born out of simplicity. We have to clean up his world, put him in a place where he can really do well and not have to think too much and grow him as we learn more about how he reacts to different situations.”

In his lone collegiate season, Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. Simmons also has struck up a friendship with LeBron James that Brown believes will be an influential one not only this season but throughout the rookie’s career.

“LeBron is very recognized for being a sort of maniacal worker,” Brown said. “He’s extremely prideful in his body. He’s extremely conciseness with time. He’s very professional. Then you take his physical gifts and see what he’s done over his career, the package is elite. I think when you sort of study greatness and the great players, those type of qualities are common.

“To be able to share those experiences with Ben, to show the experiences with how you work with Ben, I think it’s just a wonderful thing. We talk all the time with our players and ask; ‘Do you want to be great?’ You don’t just kick that word around lightly. Those habits, those routines, how you see the world matters. LeBron is a wonderful example for Ben.”

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