Jonathan Simmons has had an incredible season for the San Antonio Spurs. He has had one of the most remarkable stories in the NBA but his NBA dreams almost came to an end in high school. Simmons attended M.B. Smiley High School in Houston, Texas, which was considered a dropout factory. 40 percent of their freshman don’t reach their senior year. Simmons had his most trouble during his junior year but pushed through it.
Simmons Journey from Hell
After high school, Simmons would go to Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas. One year later, he transferred to Midland College in Midland, TX.
After his junior college tour, Simmons thrived at the University of Houston. He averaged 14.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.2 assist per game. After playing just one season for the Cougars, Simmons declared for the NBA draft in 2012. He went undrafted that year along with Kent Bazemore, JaMychal Green and Hollis Thompson.
After going undrafted, Simmons was selected in the first round in the inaugural season of the American Basketball League. After being drafted by the Sugar Land Legends in 2013, Simmons averaged 36.5 points in just 16 games. Following the ABL, Simmons would try out for the Austin Toros’/Spurs, the D-League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs. He paid an $150 fee and made the team. He returned to the Spurs for the 2014-2015 season as well. While playing in the D-League, Simmons almost gave up his dreams of making the NBA. He considered getting a 9-5 job since he has four daughters to take care of. Simmons kept pushing and working harder.
Simmons played for the Brooklyn Nets summer league team where he would average 12 points in three games. After Brooklyn, he was invited to the Spurs summer league team. After making the cut, he would go on to help the Spurs win the D-League championship in 2015. He then signed with the San Antonio Spurs two days later.
Simmons’ Time to Shine
The 2016-2017 season is where Simmons has really shined. In the Spurs season opener against the Golden State Warriors, Simmons would score a career-high 20 points in a 129-100 win at Oracle Arena. Simmons was named to the U.S. team for the 2017 Rising Stars Challenge that took place during NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. Simmons started in his first career playoff game in the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. He replaced Kawhi Leonard who was ruled out in game 6 against the Houston Rockets. Simmons put up 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting to help the Spurs advance to the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors.
Simmons will be a restricted free agent this upcoming 2017 offseason, he signed a contract with the Spurs two years ago for two years, $1,399,729, he could be a great addition to any team since he is still in his prime being only 27 years old.
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