Just a couple days before the holiday, Ben Simmons made one young fan’s Christmas wish come true.
A 7-year-old boy named Oggie held up a sign that said his wish was to meet the Sixers’ All-Star point guard. Before the second half began of the Sixers’ 125-109 win in Detroit (see observations), Simmons was able to arrange for Oggie to come to the bench for a quick picture.
This is awesome.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 24, 2019
Ben Simmons made seven-year-old Auggie's Christmas wish to meet his favorite player come true tonight ahead of the Sixers game in Detroit. pic.twitter.com/6wfLBvBbBc
“He had a sign that said his Christmas wish was to meet me,” Simmons told reporters in Detroit postgame. “That means a lot to me — your wish is come to a game and meet me. It's a blessing to be in that position."
On the court, Simmons helped the Sixers go into their Christmas day matchup against the NBA-best Bucks on a positive note. He was in a giving mood, dishing out a career-high 17 assists and posting his second triple-double of the season.
The Sixers now have back-to-back wins which feels pretty important after a week that saw them drop three straight and face questions about their struggles with zone defense.
Now they’ll have the opportunity to host a game on one of the biggest stages on the NBA calendar.
I can’t wait,” Brett Brown said. “As I told the team — and especially the people that were raised in America — Christmas Day NBA games matter. You know, as a team you couldn’t wait to just go turn the TV on. To have the responsibility, opportunity to be one of those teams that’s selected to play on Christmas Day, and now to have it play out where Milwaukee is such a great team and coached by a good friend of mine (Mike Budenholzer) — to be able to have that opportunity against such a high-quality team on Christmas Day is unique and special, and we are very much looking forward to it.
Speaking of “unique and special,” the Sixers will be tasked with slowing down reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. So far this season, the Greek Freak is playing like a guy that wants to take even more hardware home.
Antetokounmpo is second in the league averaging 31.1 points a game and shooting 56.6 percent from the field. He’s led Milwaukee to a league-best 27-4 mark and the Bucks appear poised to earn the Eastern Conference’s first seed.
Brown stated before the season that his goal was to earn the top spot in the East, but between injuries and uneven play, the Sixers haven’t quite put it all together. Wednesday will give us a decent idea of where this team is.
“I think it’s going to be a great test for us,” Tobias Harris said. “Obviously just to be able to play on Christmas is going to be a great experience and at the same time it’s against a very good team. To be at home and play in front of our crowd, it’s going to be a great game.”
You don’t have to remind Harris, who scored his most points as a Sixer with a game-high 35 Monday, what it means to play on Christmas.
The 27-year-old is well-traveled and has never played on a team that had the opportunity to do so.
“It is [my first Christmas game],” Harris said when a reporter asked. “I ain’t been on that many top teams to be on Christmas.”
Not even with the Clippers last season?
“No, but I’m playing on Christmas this year.”
After Monday’s win over the Pistons, Simmons found Oggie and handed him the jersey off his back and signed it for him. Safe to say he gave the youngster a gift to remember.
The Sixers will hope to give a sellout crowd at the Wells Fargo Center the gift of a victory over the best team in the NBA.
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