Ben Simmons Stars in Champs Sports x Nike Animated Holiday Short
For the past three years, Philadelphia 76ers fans have been living by an invigorating rally call: "Trust the process." The phrase—which became a mantra that provided hope through consecutive disappointing seasons—has been most associated with Sixers enforcer Joel Embiid, but point guard Ben Simmons is similarly watching his own hard work pay off.
Champs Sports tapped Simmons—an early candidate for Rookie of the Year honors—for a partnership with Nike to introduce an animated holiday campaign. In a brand new clip (dubbed Gettin' Buckets With Ben Simmons), the 21-year-old baller speaks with a group of young athletes about how to push through the pressures and expectations that come with being the new guy on the roster, walking through his own basketball journey to the NBA. He shows off a bit of his personality, too.
XXL caught up with Simmons to discuss his role in the latest Champs Sports campaign, his favorite artists, pre-game playlist and the Australian rap scene.
Why did you chose to partner with Champs Sports and Nike for this animated campaign?
It was a great opportunity for me because it introduces the way I came up here from high school. It really is an introduction to who I am in a way.
What's your take on the final outcome of the animated visual?
It looked really cool and it was a really fun visual. I had a lot of fun doing this video. It turned out great and I'm excited for others to see it.
What's your expectations this season for your Philadelphia 76ers?
We're getting better every day. We're a very young team but it takes time to develop chemistry. But we're making the league aware of our team. We're growing each day so it's very fun to see the process.
What's like to play in front of such a passionate fan base like the Philadelphia crowd?
Oh man... it's amazing to play in Philly. Philly definitely has the best fan base. Even when the times were rough in Philly, the fans supported us and stood by the team's side. Now that they see us doing a lot better it means a lot to them.
Since you spend a lot of time on the road, who are some of the artists you find yourself listening to?
I listen to a lot of Meek Mill and Future when I'm on the road. I also listen to Drake a little bit.
Does your playlist change for pre-games or practices?
It definitely changes from time to time. Usually when new music drops I try to add that into my playlist. I don't have too many new songs right now, but I try to stay on top of new music.
What's one song that's getting you hype lately?
"Plain Jane" by A$AP Ferg. That's a great song! I listen to it on the regular. It definitely gets me hype for practices and games.
What other artists you find yourself listening to a lot?
Ferg for sure! I've known him since college and I've gotten to know him as a person. He's a great person. He's been doing his thing, so yeah, Ferg is someone I listen to a lot.
How did you first meet Ferg?
He actually performed at a concert we had in our college. I went out to the show and saw him perform. We met there and ended up becoming cool.
Do you have a favorite rapper of all time?
Yeah, JAY-Z is my favorite. I listen to a lot of East Coast music, so for sure JAY-Z has been my favorite.
Being from Australia, how's the rap scene out there?
It's great! I know Drake was in Australia this year touring and he was selling out shows, but the hip-hop scene out there is great. They definitely love their rap.
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