Bombers back Ben’s All-Star bid
Essendon has thrown its support behind Aussie NBA young gun Ben Simmons' bid to become the first Australian in the All-Star game, Bombers' prime mover Zach Merrett urging fans of the sash to vote for the Dons supporter.
In a video posted to the Bombers' official Twitter accounts, Merrett - cloaked in Simmons' familiar Philadelphia 76ers No.25 jersey - explains how fans can vote for the Melbourne-born NBA wunderkind.
"Bomber fans, it's time to get around one of our own," Merrett says in the video.
"Ben Simmons, a mighty Bombers supporter, is vying to become the first Australian in the All-Star game, but he needs your help.
"Best of luck Ben we're all behind you."
When second returns for voting were released last week, Simmons was sitting fourth among Eastern Conference guards with almost 700,000 votes, well behind top two Kyrie Irving (nearly 2.4 million) and the retiring Dwyane Wade (almost 1.2 million).
The 22-year-old is putting together a superb season on the floor, guiding the Sixers to the fourth-best record in the East at 28-16.
His numbers are up almost across the board on his rookie season, with 16.6 points, 9.4 rebounds (19th in the NBA) and 8.2 assists (fourth) per night complemented by a superb 58.1 per cent field goal percentage (10th).
He would need to make up massive ground to be an automatic fan selection, with only the top-two guards from each conference selected to start. If he were to miss out, he would have to rely on the coaches to select him.
Simmons played Australian rules as a youth and still loves the game today.
"I was always the ruckman, I wanted to play forward and kick goals," he said on 60 Minutes last year.
"I love playing the game, it's a very fun game - I've used a couple of hip 'n shoulders … I've dropped a couple of people (on the court).
"That physicality side of footy has translated to basketball."
Voting for the 2019 NBA All-Star game is now open. CLICK HERE to pick your favourite NBA players today!