There is no doubt that Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is one of the more talented players in the league. The way that he can impact a game without his scoring is very impressive as he is an elite playmaker as well as an elite defender.
There is, however, one major issue that seems to be holding him back a bit and that is his refusal to take any jump shots in games or even look at the rim in the halfcourt offense.
This was, obviously, a big issue in Round 2 against the Atlanta Hawks when Simmons struggled from the free-throw line and he passed up an open dunk after a nice move against Danilo Gallinari in Game 7. The refusal to take any jumpers in games has continued to dog him throughout his career despite his obvious talents and it is something that an NBA legend warned him about in 2019.
The late Kobe Bryant had an interview with the Herald Sun and he was asked about Simmons’ game. He told them this:
Well, he gotta get a jump shot. Listen, it sounds humorous and all that, but I’m dead-a** serious. Because if not he’ll regret it when his career is over. And you look at what he is doing now without that and it is astonishing. Now imagine you can shoot the ball, what does that open up for you? You don’t want to retire and look back and go ‘Man, if I just had a jump shot, what would I have done?’
You don’t want that. You don’t want that. So I don’t care if you have to lock yourself in the gym for 10 hours a day. If this kid gets a jump shot, it’s a serious, serious problem. I mean a serious, serious problem. So to answer your question, the sky’s the limit for him. He can be as good as he wants to be.
This was back in 2019 and it still rings true to this day. Simmons is one of the top players in the league already and he has a hindrance holding him back a bit on the offensive end of the floor. If he can just get over that issue and become the player that everybody expects him to be, that helps him take the next step to become a truly elite player in this league.
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