Former All-Star defends Ben Simmons over shooting struggles
One of the purest jump shooters of the last decade is offering an interesting take on Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.
Speaking this week with TMZ Sports, former NBA swingman Joe Johnson, a seven-time career All-Star, pushed back on the notion of Simmons’ jumper being broken.
“I honestly don’t think nothing’s wrong with it,” said Johnson. “Obviously, you see him playing pickup basketball shooting jumpers, fadeaways, threes. So we all know it’s there.
“He just has to take that same confidence that he has in pickup and translate it to an NBA game,” Johnson added. “That’s it. You’re gonna miss and make shots. You can’t worry about the misses. He’s just got to continue to take them. It’s a psyche thing. It’s confidence. When he step on the court, he has to have the utmost confidence because talent-wise, it’s there.”
Johnson, who played 18 years in the league, was a solid three-point shooter. He hit 37.1 percent for his career from deep, topping 40 percent in multiple seasons, and even competed in the Three Point Contest a couple of times.
Simmons has a long way to go to get there, to say the absolute least. He has only attempted 36 threes in his entire career, regular season and playoffs, connecting on a whopping five of them. Simmons’ extreme hesitance to even think about attempting a shot outside of the paint severely caps his team’s upside and has led to countless jokes and memes. If Johnson is right that Simmons’ problem is one with confidence, even that may be too much for Simmons to overcome entering his fifth career NBA season.