The foreign flavour is only getting stronger in the NBA.
Ben Simmons has had a drama-filled debut game for the Philadelphia 76ers, showing glimpses of why he could be the NBA’s next great player before being carried off the court in pain.
The Australian 19-year-old cramped up in the second half of the 76ers’ 102-94 loss to the Boston Celtics in an NBA Summer League game in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday.
With four minutes to go Simmons was blocked on a lay-up and as he came down his calves in both legs seized up.
He fell to the court and then had to crawl beyond the baseline where he winced in pain while the game continued.
Boston only had a two-point lead at the time, but ran away with the game when Simmons left the court.
Simmons had warned he could be rusty as it was his first game since March 12 when he played his finale for Louisiana State University.
The NBA’s No.1 one draft pick was impressive before going down, scoring 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists from almost 24 minutes on the court.
He drew rave reviews for his performance, which included a dunk, a behind the head assist and a pinpoint half-court bounce pass that resulted in a dunk.
The Celtics’ recent No.3 draft pick Jaylen Brown had a strong game with 16 points, four rebounds and six assists.