Ben Simmons is everywhere leading up to the NBA Draft

Mar 11, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; LSU Tigers forward Ben Simmons (25) sits on the bench during the first half of game seven of the SEC tournament against the Tennessee Volunteers at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; LSU Tigers forward Ben Simmons (25) sits on the bench during the first half of game seven of the SEC tournament against the Tennessee Volunteers at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports /

Ben Simmons’ life will be forever changed when the former LSU basketball star hears his name called as the first pick of Thursday’s NBA draft, but for now, he’ll settle for winning the week.

It’s official. The Philadelphia 76ers will select Ben Simmons with the top pick in the NBA draft. Shocking, I know.

Will he actually end up in Philly because that’s a different story. My prediction is that the Aussie phenom eventually finds his way to Los Angeles via trade to don the purple and gold, but what do I know?

What I do know is that Simmons is absolutely dominating this week leading up to the NBA draft.

Simmons began his media takeover with the unveiling of his two new Foot Locker commercials. The first commercial features Simmons and NBA rookies Karl Anthony Towns, Devin Booker and D’Angelo Russell. Simmons is a decent actor, but as you can see, Russell steals the show with a hilarious send up of his infamous social-media-phone gaffe earlier this year.

Simmons then showcased his solo acting chops, appearing with a papier-mâché version of Towns. This advertisement shows off Simmons’ charisma, and I’m sure this is the first of many products he’ll be pitching to national (and international) consumers.

Next, Showtime announced the release of its new documentary on Simmons’ journey from Australia to the NBA titled, “ONE & DONE.” Per Showtime’s release:

"“ONE & DONE chronicles a unique and pivotal period in a young man’s life,” said Espinoza. “Over the last year, as Ben Simmons has transitioned from teenager to young adult, he has also transitioned from the relative anonymity of a supremely talented high school player to the national and international limelight of the exclusive fraternity of top NBA draft picks.  Ben Simmons is navigating a path that, although dreamt of and aspired to for a lifetime, remains uncertain. ONE & DONE is dramatic and captivating with exclusive access to subject matter that is as timely as it is provocative.”"

I’m always up for am entertaining and insightful sports documentary, especially when it’s done well. Hopefully “ONE & DONE” turns out well because if not, then the distracting camera crew that followed him through his “year” at LSU was a complete waste of time.

Completing his entertainment trifecta, Simmons appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The whole segment was a rather vanilla interview, comprised mostly of generic questions about Simmons’ accent (he’s Australian people), which team he’d like to play for, his Nike deal and the advice NBA superstar LeBron James has given him.

The most interesting element of the interview was when Simmons shared an authentic Philly cheesesteak with Fallon. Simmons is very polished in media situations, the type of athlete behavior that translates perfectly to the role of corporate pitchman (if he produces on the court).

In the world of print media, ESPN The Magazine released its story on Simmons this week as well, and World Wide Leader scribe Taffy Brodesser-Akner shed light on Simmons’ life post-LSU and his preparations for the draft.

In the article, Simmons sister Emily Bush shared some insight about Ben’s media experience in Baton Rouge.

"Around journalists, he’s more than a little reticent after constant attention (and scrutiny) during his short-lived career at LSU. “He was a media darling for the first six months,” Emily says, “and then some things were written about him that were horrible.” There were the stories wondering about his shooting ability, wondering if he’s overhyped, making fun of his academic record at LSU. Predictable stuff. But when they start talking about his character when they’ve never met him? And they want to know if his mental game is ready, if he can handle the pressures of the NBA?"

Maybe I missed the part where Simmons was railroaded by the local media, but he will certainly need to develop thicker skin as he transitions to the NBA. If he thinks the local media are tough in Baton Rouge, just wait until he arrives in Philadelphia – yikes.

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You’d think Simmons was the quarterback of the LSU football team, or worse head coach Les Miles, by the way his sister describes the level of scrutiny he received. Give me a break!

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Simmons play for LSU, but every ounce of criticism lobbed his way is completely justified. The team didn’t perform well. At the end of the day, even if a player like Simmons averages a double-double, but his team loses, does it really matter?

But Baton Rouge is a distant memory for Simmons. Now he’s off to Philly as the presumptive No. 1 pick Thursday, and potential super stardom is on the horizon.

Simmons has won the week, and hopefully for him and his future team, the winning streak continues.