PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Ben Simmons wants to help fix the NCAA basketball culture.
“I think I would have learned a lot more being around professional athletes,” Simmons told Carter in a newly released video. “Looking at it now, I don’t even really know what I learned financially or just being a person at LSU. I think I’ve learned a lot more with this whole year being in Philly, than I did at LSU.
“If the NCAA didn’t have the stars coming through then people wouldn’t be watching,” Simmons said.
Simmons said it began to bother him as a freshman at LSU, “When they started asking more of me, more photos shoot. I’d have class, go lift, go practice. And then, ‘Oh Ben, you gotta stay here and do media and the photo shoot.’ So I’d be kinda annoyed, like what am I getting out of this?”
Simmons says he wants to help fix the NCAA student-athlete problem in America while he’s playing in the NBA, something he began doing with his Showtime One And Done Documentary.
Simmons, who is repped by Klutch Sports — the agency of LeBron James’ close friend and business partner Rich Paul — has an annual average salary is just north of $6 million. Last summer, he signed a five-year, guaranteed $20 million contract with Nike — with incentives that could push the deal up to $40 million.
Simmons says his worst purchase so far were his $4,000 Savannah cats, which he had to get rid of.
After 11 NBA games, Simmons is already creating headlines, as he’s running away with the rookie of the year award already. The 21-year-old point-guard is averaging 17.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game — already accumulating two triple-doubles.
You can watch the full interview here.