Ben Simmons’ ceremonial first pitch had interesting twist
Ben Simmons was invited to Citizens Bank Park this weekend to throw out the first pitch at a Philadelphia Phillies game, and his appearance was notable in more ways than one.
The Philadelphia 76ers star had the ceremonial honors before Saturday’s game between the Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays and threw a near-perfect strike of a first pitch … with his right hand. Take a look:
A right-handed strike from Ben Simmons pic.twitter.com/7VYz3L8zUY
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 26, 2018
It was certainly an interesting twist for the 21-year-old Simmons, who shoots the basketball with his left hand. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer pointed out the discrepancy between Simmons’ dominant hand on jumpers and his dominant hand in seemingly every other facet of life.
What a beautifully thrown right-handed first pitch by Ben Simmons, who also writes with his right hand, eats with his right hand, throws full court heaves with his right hand, and 80% of the time lays the ball up and dunks with his right hand, but for some reason shoots lefty. https://t.co/tueLbQBFXu
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 26, 2018
While Simmons put together one of the most impressive rookie years in NBA history (averaging 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game), his inability to shoot is a major cap on his ceiling as a player. The former No. 1 overall pick failed to hit a single three-pointer this season and attempted just 12 of them in total all year (all on end-of-clock heaves).
Simmons himself recently acknowledged that he needs to improve that part of his game, and Saturday’s display may inevitably lead to questions about if he should consider shooting with his right hand instead.