Philadelphia 76ers: Stephen A. Smith really hates Ben Simmons’ shot

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for SiriusXM) /

Seriously, why is ESPN’S Stephen A. Smith so obsessed with Ben Simmons’ outside shot in relation to the Philadelphia 76ers championship hopes?

If you’ve watched ESPN, specifically First Take, over the last week, you’ve probably heard Stephen A. Smith say some variation of ‘Ben Simmons‘ shot is going to prevent the Philadelphia 76ers from competing for a championship.’

It’s practically become his catchphrase at this point.

A quick trip over to YouTube shows three separate conversations about Simmons’ shot on First Take over the last week alone (as of March 26th), with seemingly more to come over the next few weeks.

Now granted, I too have discussed Simmons’ shortcomings as an offensive force and whether or not he will ever be able to be the best player on a championship caliber team (more on that here), but to distill the team’s eventual success to Big Ben’s jump shot is vastly oversimplified and incredibly overplayed at this point.

I mean, off the top of my head, I can think of five different factors that will be more instrumental to the team’s success come playoff time:

  1. The team’s overall health
  2. Jimmy Butler‘s effort
  3. Joel Embiid‘s 3-point attempts
  4. Backcourt defense
  5. Boneheaded buzzer beater calls.

Sure, Simmons developing an outside shot would be great for the team moving forward, as it would allow Embiid to dominate in the paint, as opposed to hanging out on the wings for spacing, but one can’t miss something that was never there in the first place.

Now if he were to somehow lose his court vision, speed, or rebounding abilities, then yeah, Brett Brown‘s squad could be in serious trouble, but as things presently stand, Simmons ranks fifth on the Sixers in points-per-game at 17.1.

Is he capable of going off for 30-plus? Sure, Simmons has already done so twice as a pro (both last season) but in a weird way, the 6-foot-10 should-be forward almost plays the game like a throwback point guard; distributing the ball to his teammates as opposed to being a score-first Allen Iverson type lead guard.

But that doesn’t make for a good segment headline.

Next. Zhaire Smith needs a proper playoff audition. dark

No, questioning whether Ben Simmons’ biggest flaw could prevent the Philadelphia 76ers from competing for a championship (or worse, that he ‘needs to change teams‘) is a great way to rack up views (1,187,000 so far). While I can’t knock anyone for trying to make a living or keeping their sports network afloat, I wish Stephen A. Smith, a legend in the Philadelphia reporting community, would do so without having to resort to clickbait-y headlines designed to trick fans.