Jonathon Simmons; From Borrowing Money For His Kids’ Diapers To Becoming A Key Factor In The NBA Playoffs Within 18 Months

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathon Simmons; From Borrowing Money For His Kids’ Diapers To Becoming A Key Factor In The NBA Playoffs Within 18 Months


It was only a year and a half ago that San Antonio Spurs swingman Jonathon Simmons was borrowing money for his children’s diapers, or even sometimes lunch for himself. Fast forward 18 months, and Simmons has landed an NBA contract with the Spurs, is a key rotation player on a championship contending team that just made the Conference Finals, not least because of Simmons’ performance.

Without their star player Kawhi Leonard, without their starting point guard Tony Parker, it was time for the supporting cast to step up, and boy, did they deliver.

Jonathon Simmons had 18 points on 8 of 12 shooting, adding 4 rebounds in the Spurs dominating Game 6 win over the Houston Rockets.

Before the season, no one anticipated this kind of extraordinary performance from Simmons, and the once D-League player has now cemented himself within the Spurs rotation in the hopes of winning his first, and yet another championship for the Spurs.

It has been a long and painful journey, but his preservice is exemplary. After undergoing countless personal hardships, he is now reaping the rewards;


“Big pride, I think it’s very humbling for me and I appreciate this level probably way more than some others do, so I think it’s allowed me to appreciate things more and to stay humble,” Simmons said.

“It’s just with being human, everybody has doubt. But you have to have more faith than doubt. I just stayed positive through the tough times,” he said.


Simmons is another Spurs success story. The team’s front office and coaching staff show year after year, that they probably are the best in the entire NBA. Undrafted players thrive to performances no one thought of being possible, players drafted outside of the lottery becoming stars (Tony Parker was drafted 28th, Manu Ginobili 57th, and Kawhi Leonard 15th), making it possible for the Spurs to have a contending team year after year.

Simmons’ story though stands for itself. After playing for three different colleges, no one drafted him in the 2012 NBA draft, and after some time in the ABL, Simmons paid $150 for a D-League tryout with San Antonio’s D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros.

The tryout went well and the Austin Toro invited him back leading to him eventually making the roster. Then in 2015, Simmons played his first NBA game for the Spurs as a 26-year-old. In an interview with ESPN, he once said:


“Shoot, every day I kind of think and just reflect back on all it took to get to this point. I’m just continuing to stay humble about it because I want to keep getting better, and being the new guy, I just want to try to get the respect from the other guys. This was just about turning negatives into positives for me, and just appreciating the experience. I always talked about it. But I think it wasn’t until after my first year in the D-League where I really got comfortable enough to feel like someday I’m going to be a big part of this team. I know what I can do.”


What a great guy.


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