Imagine NBA sensation Ben Simmons in the red and black kit of the Essendon Bombers. It would be Mason Cox on steroids, although that is not to suggest than anyone is using performance enhancing drugs.
Cox proved that a basketballer can play Australian Rules football, quite adequately in fact, judging from his contributions to the Collingwood Magpies.
Simmons was probably just being a bit cheeky when he tweeted, “Before it’s all done, I need one season in the red and black.”
If Simmons is half the businessman he is basketballer player, he will leave that for 10 or 15 years in the future. He may be too old to play football, but by the time he is done in the NBA, Simmons will have been able to bank enough money to simply buy the AFL and play for whichever club he chooses.
True, Essendon could use him sooner rather than later, but they are on the upswing now that the 2012 PED issue cost them the 2016 season.
Simmons would make an excellent ruckman, but unlike Cox, he has some footy time in his background, so a hop would be easy for him.
He did not particularly care for the ruck, however, saying in an appearance on 60 Minutes, “I love playing the game, it’s a very fun game. I was always the ruckman, I wanted to play forward and kick goals.”
Essendon’s ruckman, Tom Bellchambers replied to Simmons’ tweet with the response that he would be happy to switch places with Simmons for a year.
Any markets on how many triple-doubles Bellchambers could produce in the NBA? The top line would probably be for zero triple-doubles.
The Bombers obviously could not afford Simmons, but it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that post-NBA days, Simmons have a go at footy, even if only to put bums in the seats for Gold Coast home games.
Now, Andrew Bogut on the ground for the Dees. That would be a ticket for which we would gladly shell out.