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Save for a few fleeting glimpses in pregame warmups, it’s been a while since we’ve seen No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons, so don’t be surprised if he seems a little bigger when next we meet him up close.
While the first-year Philadelphia 76er has been rehabbing from a Jones fracture in his right foot that cost him his entire would-be rookie season, Simmons has supposedly grown two inches to almost 7 feet tall, according to both former Sixers player World B. Free and WIP-FM beat reporter Jon Johnson.
World B. Free dropped this on the 76ers broadcast during last week’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers:
It seems like Ben Simmons grew about another two inches since he’s been here. I told him that the other day, I said, ‘Ben, you look like you’ve grown another two inches since you’ve been here.’ His arms are long, he’s lean, he’s in shape. When I watched him in practice — just in practice — he’s like a baby Magic Johnson. He’s practiced with LeBron — he worked out with LeBron — so LeBron’s probably going to beat him up and make him strong.
Now, that alone didn’t mean Simmons grew from his pre-draft height of 6-foot-10 to 7 feet. It just meant he looked two inches taller to World B. Free. Then, Johnson confirmed World B. Free’s suspicion:
There you have it. Simmons reportedly told Johnson he’d indeed grown two inches. If you need further proof, look no further than this tweet from NBA2K community manager Chris Manning, who shared a screenshot of what appears to be an update to Simmons’ height of 7 feet on the video game franchise:
Which Simmons approved of on his Twitter account:
We’ll see at what height the 76ers list Simmons in the 2017-18 media guide, but he sure does look tall:
It’s difficult to tell the difference between 6-foot-10 and 7 feet from a highlight clip. That growth could have its benefits on the basketball court, but you can’t help but wonder if the 20-year-old Simmons’ still-growing body lent to the fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot or the setbacks thereafter.
He wouldn’t be the first point forward to grow a couple inches after entering the NBA. Milwaukee Bucks phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo sprouted from his draft-day height of 6-foot-9 to his current height of 6-foot-11 over the course of his rookie year. Which begs the question: If Giannis is nicknamed the Greek Freak, do we now have to start calling Simmons the Australian Alien? I’ll see myself out.
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