Ben Simmons is under a lot of scrutinies ever since the Hawks eliminated the Sixers from the playoffs. Most of the blame from NBA fans and analysts was pointed towards Simmons and his subpar performance in the playoffs, especially when it comes to shooting. It looks like Simmons lost all of his confidence, and it hurt the Sixers tremendously because he wasn’t an essential factor on offense, and his defense wasn’t on the same level as we’ve seen in the regular season.
Simmons will have to do a lot of soul searching in the offseason, and if it’s safe to say he got exposed, which might compromise his future with the Sixers. However, Simmons should consider the advice the late great Kobe Bryant gave him back in 2018 when asked about Simmons and what his ceiling is as a player.
Bryant suggested something that is now evident, which means he needs to improve his shot. However, back then, Bryant provided a more profound reason why Simmons needs to put more effort into enhancing his shooting ability.
He’s got to get a jump shot. It sounds stupid and all that, but I’m dead ass serious. Because if not, he will regret it when his career is over. You look at what he’s doing now without that is astonishing. Not imagine if you could shoot the ball, what does that open up for you?Kobe Bryant, via 15 MOF
Simmons has been in the NBA for four years, and we haven’t seen any improvement in his game and his best season individually came in his rookie season. Bryant also shared an inspirational message for Simmons, saying he doesn’t want to be in a situation in later stages of his career when he realizes he could’ve been great if he had worked on his shooting. Bryant also had a lot of faith in Simmons, saying he would be pretty much unstoppable if he improved and became a more complete player.
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. 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. The sky is the limit for him. He can be as good as he wants to be.Kobe Bryant, via 15 MOF
Everything Bryant said makes complete sense, and now it’s up to Simmons to make the necessary jump in his development as a player. Whatever happens in the offseason, and even if he gets traded from the Sixers, Simmons will need to work on his game because if he doesn’t improve at least his free-throw shooting, we might even see him out of the league in a few years, or he’ll become a role player. Just like Kobe said, you don’t want to look back at your career thinking that he could’ve done more when the recipe for success is so simple. Put the time and effort into mastering your craft, and you’ll get the opportunity to shut down all the criticism he’s been receiving lately.
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