Ben Simmons is getting animated for the holiday season.
Champs Sports, in conjunction with Nike, is cooking a new animated short, Gettin' Buckets With Ben Simmons, starring the ascending Sixers rookie point guard.
Speaking with Bleacher Report, Simmons was elated to receive this opportunity in his nascent career.
"Yeah, I think it was just a great opportunity for me, in my rookie year, to partner with them," Simmons said. "Especially with the animated short film, introducing the way I was brought over here and for the younger kids."
Sitting with a group of athletes, Simmons explains the burden of joining a new team with lofty expectations and how those experiences relate to them. Who better than Ben—who suffered a season-ending injury prior to his first year in the NBA, only to bounce back with a ferocious passion and impact this season—to guide these young players on their journey?
Simmons tempered his expectations for the NBA and doesn't seem fazed in his second year. The dynamic playmaker is averaging a robust 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 2.1 steals as the leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award.
"Nothing really has surprised me much about the NBA," Simmons said. "I thought it was going to be a lot more physical and quicker, but it hasn't been really."
Simmons, who arrived in the league from LSU via Melbourne, Australia, is no stranger to improvisation on the court. He let that same creativity flow in this new role.
"They kind of let me freestyle a little bit," he noted, as his life experiences and personality helped dictate the on-screen action.
Ben enjoys watching himself in animated form rocking the latest Nike apparel, but the 6'10" phenom wouldn't mind his own signature shoe one day.
"I think if I work hard and things work out the right way, I think I can be in that position," Simmons said.
The Nike x Champs holiday campaign includes:
OG Windrunner — retails at $75 in white and black colorways
Tech Fleece Pant — retails at $100 in a black colorway
Air Max Plus — retails at $150 in black and gold, white and gold and grey and white colorways
Air Full Zip — retails at $90 in black and gray colorways
Air Jogger — retails at $120 in black and gray colorways
Boxed Hoodie — retails at $65 in gray and white colorways
Modern Jogger — retails at $50 in a black colorway
Air Anorak — retails at $80 in black and ant colorways