There aren't a ton of things that phase Ben Simmons. At least, that's how it usually seems.
Until you're being announced as an NBA All-Star for the first time in your career and waiting to sub in on Team LeBron.
"Here we go, don't mess up," Simmons thought to himself as he took the court.
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Next to him was Dwyane Wade. Across from him was Dirk Nowitzki.
"I'm playing with legends, D-Wade… [Nowitzki] hit a three on me" Simmons smiled, before going on to talk about the influence that Nowitzki had on him as an international basketball player.
For playing just 16 minutes, Simmons sure had an impact, finishing with 10 points (5-5 shooting), seven assists, six rebounds and zero turnovers.
He also had a little something in him that not everyone else had. While the majority of players said they started to feel the game get competitive midway through the fourth quarter, Ben had a different answer.
"That first second I stepped on the court, just stepping in with the mentality of trying to get a win."
Simmons, alongside Team LeBron James got that win Sunday night, but it was clear from his demeanor there was something bigger he took away.
"I had a great time. Nothing was what I expected, but it was just fun to be out there, something new, something I hadn't done before."
Simmons walked out of the arena with a little extra pep in his step, which got me thinking about the day he was announced as an All-Star.
"I grew up thinking about championships, honestly. I didn't really think about All-Star appearances."
But now, I'd think Ben would admit that tonight was a little bit more special than even he imagined.
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