Ben Simmons never played a second last season, nor did he ever come close to suiting up for a regular-season game.
He was injured on the final day of training camp.
He's 21 years old, the same age as Donovan Mitchell.
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia 76ers and their rivals in the NBA from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
This season is Simmons' first of NBA competition, therefore he is considered a rookie by the NBA.
Believe it or not, these rules weren't just implemented. Blake Griffin actually won 2010-11 Rookie of the Year after missing all of 2009-10 with an injury.
Really, this isn't anything new.
But Mitchell, considered Simmons' top competition for this season's Rookie of the Year, tried taking a shot at the Sixers' 6-foot-10 point guard when he arrived to the arena Tuesday prior to the Jazz's game.
He wore a custom-made sweatshirt with the definition of "rookie" featured on the front.
Let's highlight some key words from our trusty online dictionaries.
• A member of an athletic team in his or her first full season in that sport.
• A first-year participant in a major professional sport.
• An athlete playing his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team.
Dictionary.com astutely pointed this out to Mitchell:
Simmons also responded:
Ben Simmons fires back after hearing about Donovan Mitchell's hoodie.
He says he won't be wearing a sweatshirt tomorrow. 🍿 pic.twitter.com/tXMmcx73DS— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 11, 2018
The Phillies also had some fun:
Big week for rookies in Philadelphia.
rookie [roo k-ee]
An athlete playing his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team pic.twitter.com/KMKGQ9TsRL— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) April 11, 2018
Mitchell later claimed he's not concerned with Simmons' belief that the first-year Sixer is "100 percent" worthy of the honor.
Mitchell's comments to ESPN were interesting to say the least …
I really don't care. The biggest thing for me is that we're in the fourth seed and fighting for the third seed. If I'm worrying about individual awards, I'm giving up on my teammates and what we're trying to build here. Clearly, I'm not the one losing sleep over this. I don't care.
I'll say this. I'll put it in perspective for people who obviously don't play in the NBA and don't know the life of the NBA. So, let's say you have an exam to take on June 1 and you have a whole year to study for that exam, you're going to get a pretty good grade on it, aren't you? But some people may not have all that time to prepare for that exam. So, that's how I look at it and I hope that puts it in perspective for people. But at the end of the day, we're in the fourth seed. I got the Defensive Player of the Year and the Coach of the Year on my team, so I'm happy.
Regardless of anyone's comments, there's no doubt Simmons' play has done plenty of talking.