Australian Ben Simmons says he wants his Philadelphia 76ers to be the “face” of the NBA.
After a long, strenuous rebuilding process, the Sixers made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2012, being knocked out in the second round by the Boston Celtics.
Off the back of last season’s success Simmons, who was a key part of Philadelphia’s rapid improvement, says the club has its goals set on becoming the best team in the NBA.
“I want our team to be the face of the league; not just in the east,” Simmons told Fox Sports.
“So, in order for us to do that, we have to get past each team and beat them.
“I don’t wanna really look at myself and my teammates as equal. We have to beat this team, and get past whoever it is, to take that ground.
“We obviously fell short in that second round, which was disappointing, but at the same time, we (had) a goal to get to the playoffs, so we got past that goal.
“Now we’re back in the lab, we’ve got the team together, we’re all ready to compete and get to that next stage."
With LeBron James departing the Cleveland Cavaliers, the top of the Eastern Conference has opened up, with the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Sixers expected to challenge for the top crown in the conference.
Simmons had a stunning debut season, recording 15.8 points, 8.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game.
The Aussie sensation is using his offseason to improve numerous aspects of his offensive repertoire.
“My thing is: what do I need to add to get to that next level?” Simmons said.
“Certain moves, counter moves, and different spots where I need to score the ball from, and just getting reps up.
“I have the whole season to do that and then get ready for the playoffs, which is what I need.”