Simmons goes back and forth with Eskin on shooting

Dave Uram
May 14, 2019 - 8:21 am

76ers point guard Ben Simmons wants to work on all aspects of his game and become a better player as the Sixers head to the off-season. 

Related: Brett Brown will return as Sixers head coach

That’s great to here from an incredibly athletic and talented soon-to-be 23-year-old. For the sake of the team, that mindset should heavily include adding a jump shot to his in-game repertoire. It’s the most glaring hole in Simmons game.

It’s also something he really doesn’t like to talk about. During his exit interview with the media Monday at the 76ers Training Facility in Camden, Simmons was pressed hard on the issue by WIP’s Howard Eskin. 

Eskin: How much do you think taking more jump shots, or even taking shots, from the perimeter is important to improving your game? 

Simmons: It’s important. It’s very important. 

Eskin: How are you going to work on it? 

Simmons: Repetition. 

Eskin: Ok, has that happened this year? You took five shots (in Game 7). Do you think in this situation with this team and who you are, you need more than five shots and some of them have to be from the perimeter? 

Simmons: Yeah. Yeah. 

Eskin: How are you going to do that? 

Simmons: How am I going to do more what? 

Eskin: Shoot more from the perimeter. 

Simmons: What? 

Eskin: You know the coach, Brett Brown, said during the season, ‘Ben, take more shots.’

Simmons: Yeah. 

Eskin: And I think you took one after he said it. I think you took a three. And you didn’t make any big deal of it. You just said you did it. Do you think with the coach wanting you to do that, that you also…

Simmons: I think he’s just making a point of emphasis in terms of just being more aggressive. I don’t think it’s just taking shots just to take them. I think it’s just being aggressive and doing my job. So, I don’t think it’s any certain shot, but when you give me the ball, I’m here to make plays. 

Simmons v. Eskin on shooting the ball more. --

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"Last year he said the same damn thing and we got the same thing from Ben Simmons this year," Eskin said of Simmons on Tuesday's 94WIP Morning Show.

"It's not even stubborness, it's arogance. They will never, ever win with Ben Simmons as their point guard. Never! And when I mean win, I mean win a championship. Don't think that Elton Brand will not investigate the possibility of seeing what his trade value is. I would trade Ben Simmons."

Bottom line is if Simmons comes back next season with a jump shot as part of his game, then his short answers towards Eskin, and really almost every time he’s asked about a jumper, won’t matter. 

If this is a case of actions speak louder than words, good for him. If not, the questions and awkward exchanges will continue. Either way, it’s imperative for the immediate success of the 76ers next season that Simmons starts taking perimeter jump shots to keep opposing teams honest on defense.​