With Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons set to head back to action soon, fans and analysts cannot wait to see if the Australian finally has a jump shot in his arsenal. They've seen those Simmons workout sessions where the 25-year-old is casually draining all types of jump shots: be it a step back, fade away, or a pull-up J.
Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade chimed in on the matter. One would expect Wade to echo the same advice Simmons has been receiving throughout the years. However, from Wade's point of view, Simmons doesn't need a smooth stroke in his arsenal. And the three-time champion presented an interesting case via NBA on TNT.
Jump shooting doesn't matter
According to Wade, there are many strong elements in Simmons' game. He's a two-time member of the All-Defensive First Team, and he also led the league in steals in 2020. He's also adept at driving to the basket — utilizing his speed and strength. For Wade, Simmons needs to focus on what he has right now. This is enough to win a title.
"Ben can rebound, both offensively and defensively. Ben can defend the other team's best player, one through 5, he has the size. Ben can get his teammates involved in the game. I think we got the scenario of that, Ben needs to start shooting jumpers. Yes. Ben needs to evolve in the game. But right now, Ben needs to do what Ben do, to the best to his abilities. If he do what he do at the max, it doesn't matter about the jump shooting. I won a championship with Shaq, he did what he did at the max, we could make it up for the free throw misses," Wade said.
Wade definitely went against the grain with his advice. The late and great Kobe Bryant was one of the first few legends which told Simmons to work on his jump shot. The Black Mamba was well-aware of the damage Simmons could do without it. Once armed with a stroke, Bryant believes it would wreak more havoc on opposing defenses.
Simmons infamously panned Kobe's advice, noting that he doesn't need a jump shot because he's working on other things in his game. Then, the infamous playoff incident against the Atlanta Hawks happened. Instead of settling for a wide-open slam, Simmons dropped it off to Matisse Thybulle. The move drove Joel Embiid and 76ers fans nuts. This was proof that Simmons has lots of holes in his offensive game.
Whatever the case may be, Wade's Shaq-free throw analogy means that Simmons' teammates would have to do some extra work to fill in the void. As Wade noted, Shaq's misses at the free-throw line mean that the rest of the team needed to work hard for the rebound to make sure they scored in the next possession or play excellent defense. Interestingly, these are all facets that Simmons is outstanding in; as such, he, too, will have to work his tail off. This is a must if Simmons doesn't want another organization or a legion of fans to hate his guts for not putting in the work.