Simmons shines in historic debut

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Ben Simmons made history as the first Australian to play in an NBA All-Star game when he took the court in Charlotte, North Carolina, this week.

Raised in the Hunter Region, Simmons came off the bench and played 17 minutes, recording 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds in Team Lebron’s 178-164 win over Team Giannis on Monday.

Simmons had earlier become the first player to be traded under the exhibition match’s ‘Captains Pick’ format, with Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo opting to trade the 22-year-old to rival skipper, Lebron James, for Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.

Both Antetokounmpo and James were the top vote-getters in their respective conferences, East and West, which allowed them to pick their team’s starters in a draft.

Simmons, who plays as a point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, proved instrumental in a third-quarter, 33-14 run that saw Team Lebron erase an 18-point deficit.

Despite the loss, Antetokounmpo topped all scorers with 38 points to go alongside five assists and 11 rebounds.

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant poured in 31 points for Team Lebron and took home his second NBA All-Star MVP award.

Simmons returns to regular NBA action on Friday 22 February when the 76ers face the Miami Heat, before playing the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

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