Jonathon Simmons: From Borrowing Money For Food To Becoming A Millionaire A Year Later

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Jonathon Simmons: From Borrowing Money For Food To Becoming A Millionaire A Year Later


This still is one of the most heartwarming stories in recent NBA history.

In 2015, Jonathon Simmons was borrowing money for his children’s diapers, or even sometimes lunch for himself.

18 months later, Simmons had landed an NBA contract with the San Antonio Spurs, and became a key rotation player on a championship contending team.

But until it was Simmon’s time to shine, it had been a long and painful journey. His preservice though, was exemplary. After undergoing countless personal hardships, he was finally 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’ story 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 G-League tryout with San Antonio’s G-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.”


In 2017, Simmons signed a three-year, $20 million contract with the Orlando Magic, and had the best season of his career, averaging 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

In 2019, Simmons was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he barley made the rotation, leading to him getting waived immediately, after a trade to the Washington Wizards.

Simmons in the meantime is back in the G-League, but one thing remains for certain; thanks to betting on himself, he won’t ever have a problem with buying necessities for his family ever again.

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