Ben Simmons on first career three-pointer: ‘I had to take a shot’
Ben Simmons made the first career three-pointer of his NBA career during Tuesday’s 144-86 exhibition win over Guangzhou Loong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.
The shot attempt came with only seconds remaining in the first half, and Simmons made it count, which sent the Philly faithful into a frenzy.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) October 9, 2019
BEN SIMMONS MADE A THREE.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL. pic.twitter.com/A2He5Ed75S
Even though breaking through from the three-point line did come in an otherwise meaningless game, Simmons nevertheless felt good about finally making one from downtown.
“The time went down,” Simmons said after the game, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I had the ball. So I had to take a shot.”
Much has been made of Simmons’ shooting woes from outside, although that stands to reason given he’s saddled with an 0-for-17 mark on shots from downtown, a stunning lack of success in an otherwise outstanding young career.
Simmons unsurprisingly has committed himself to vastly improving his outside shot, and the Sixers star was not impressed last week when a reporter asked about how things are coming along on that front.
The 6-foot-10 guard, however, was much more open about his efforts after scoring 21 points, pulling down 8 rebounds and adding seven assists in 21 minutes of action Tuesday night.
“I work every day,” Simmons said. “So to me, it like shows. I’m in the gym every day, putting in work. I feel like it’s paying off.”
76ers head coach Brett Brown, meanwhile, downplayed the significance of Simmons’ make.
“I think the whole thing is overblown,” Brown said after the game. “In general, it is so inflated, the attention. … He is young. We have a long season. I am just not going to react over it. He made a three.”
Despite boasting a Rookie of the Year award and an All-Star nod last season, the young superstar’s poor overall outside shooting is believed to be the only thing holding him back. The fact that he finally drained a three-pointer arguably shows he’s making some progress in that regard.