Ben Simmons was slated for greatness when the Philadelphia 76ers took him with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA draft. When he won Rookie of the Year honors, it seemed like just the beginning for the future legend.
He is the cornerstone of one of the best teams in the NBA, but there has been one thing holding him back.
The Man Had Never Hit an NBA 3-Pointer
To be more precise, he couldn’t hit a three-pointer if his life depended on it. In two seasons in the NBA, he has attempted 17 shots from behind the arc in regular-season play and has made zero.
Too much pressure, perhaps? Can’t be—there are too many other things he does well on the court for the pressure to be an issue. Maybe he just needs to hit one in an environment full of love and support; one where he can feel the encouragement of the fans and their faith in him.
Maybe he needs to hit one shot in a meaningless game and have everyone go nuts—which they did last night after he threw one up from deep against a team from China.
It was just a preseason game, and the 76ers were up 82-41. The fans were begging him to shoot; Simmons looked to teammates for approval and got it—so he took it.
“The time went down,” Simmons said after the game (via Philadelphia Inquirer). “I had the ball. So, I had to take a shot.”
Against all odds, that shot went in.
— NBA (@NBA) October 9, 2019
NBA Twitter Shows Ben Simmons Some Love
As could be expected, the Twitter-verse went wild:
Literally spilled my beer all over myself when Ben Simmons dropped that three
— Brian Hart (@BrianHartPR) October 9, 2019
I punched my 5yr old in the face……..and it was perfectly acceptable!
— Charles Crothers (@Charlz) October 9, 2019
my favorite part I think was Simmons pretending like he wasn't super excited he made a three.
— Spike Eskin (@SpikeEskin) October 9, 2019
Just cheered a Ben Simmons preseason three like a game 7 game winner
— Steve (@_spmcdonald) October 9, 2019
I don’t know if everybody saw, but Ben Simmons nailed a three-pointer just a bit ago. The Sixers could win the Finals at home and I don’t think the cheers would be that loud 😂
— John Keeffer (@john_keeffer) October 9, 2019
A Crusty Reality Check, Followed by Unbridled Speculation
Head coach Brett Brown had to be the party-pooper and bring everyone back to reality after the game (via NBCSports):
“He made a shot. Good. And that’s kind of personally the extent of it for me. I think the whole thing is so overblown. I think in general, it’s so inflated the attention, and that’s what I think. … He’s young; we got a long season. I’m just not gonna react over it, and I really mean that. He made a three.”
But what he is overlooking is one simple fact—all the great ones have to start somewhere. Every all-time great sharpshooter had to make his first NBA three-pointer before he could become the legend he is today. Ben Simmons has now made one; surely greatness awaits!
Watch out, Stephen Curry. Simmons is coming for you.