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Aussie basketballer Ben Simmons signs $242 million contract extension with Philadelphia 76ers

AAP, July 16, 2019 11:30AM AP

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Ben Simmons (right) has signed a $242 million contract extension with NBA side the Philadelphia 76ers. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraBen Simmons (right) has signed a $242 million contract extension with NBA side the Philadelphia 76ers. Picture: Getty Images

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Basketball star Ben Simmons has agreed to a $242 million contract* extension with the Philadelphia 76ers in the richest deal in history by an Australian athlete.

Simmons, 22, will make about $11.5 million this season, the last of his four-year rookie* deal.

His salary for the next season will jump to about $42 million and rise to nearly $55 million in 2024-25.

Simmons is on track to take over from former golf champion Greg Norman as the highest earning Australian athlete of all time.

Norman was the only Australian to feature on the ultimate Forbes ranking of the world’s 20 richest sports stars — coming in at No. 12 with estimated career earnings of $892 million, while NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan earned top spot with $2.2 billion.

Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers media_cameraBen Simmons is now Australia’s richest sports star in history. Picture: Getty

Simmons was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016. He made his NBA debut in the 2017-18 season and was named Rookie of the Year. His success continued when he was made an All-Star for the first time last season.

He has averaged 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.9 assists in his two seasons.

Simmons also has had 80 double-doubles* over the past two seasons. But he missed all 11 three-point attempts in his rookie season and was 0 for 6 last season, a combination of an awkward shooting form and being reluctant to keep shooting shots he can’t make.

“I don’t think it’s (about) taking shots just to take them,” Simmons explained.

“I think it’s just being aggressive and doing my job. I don’t think it’s any certain shot. But when you give me the ball, I’m able to make plays.”

Simmons gets seriously rich

Doubt still hangs over whether Melbourne-born Simmons will play for Australia later this year at the World Cup in China and in Melbourne and Perth exhibition games.

His absence would be a big blow to the Boomers’ hopes of claiming a medal in China in September.

The Boomers are yet to win a medal at a World Cup or Olympics, but with Simmons spearheading* a team packed with Australian NBA players including Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, Aron Baynes and Jonah Bolden, the drought appeared set to be broken.

AUSTRALIA’S OTHER RICHEST SPORTS STARS

  • Daniel Ricciardo, Formula 1
  • Jason Day, golf
  • Matthew Dellavedova, NBA basketball
  • Adam Scott, golf
  • Joe Ingles, NBA basketball

GLOSSARY

  • contract: a deal signed by two parties
  • rookie: first year or first outing
  • double-doubles: when a player achieves 10 or more (a double-digit total) in two or three of five statistical categories — points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots — in a single game.
  • spearheading: leading

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Simmons named first Aussie NBA All-Star

QUICK QUIZ

  1. How much will Ben Simmons earn next season?
  2. Which NBA team does Ben play for?
  3. How many points does he average per game?
  4. Who are the Boomers?
  5. Where is the basketball World Cup being played this year?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY
1. Spend, save and share
A common rule of money says we should aim to split our earnings between saving, spending and sharing with others.

With Ben Simmons earning $242 million over five years, how do you think he should split his money in percentages? (For eg: one third to each or save a higher percentage?)
Fill in the following table:

  • Save: xx%
  • Spend: xx%
  • Share: xx%

Time: allow 15 minutes for this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Mathematics, Civic and Social Responsibility

2. Extension
Name three charities Ben Simmons could share his wealth with and why you believe they are worthy of being supported.

Time: allow 15 minutes for this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Civic and Social Responsibility

VCOP ACTIVITY
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many connectives as you can find in pink. Discuss if these are being used as conjunctions, or to join ideas and create flow.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What would you do with your money if you earned $55 million a season?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will show until approved by editors.

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