Oh shit! Big news! Infamously jumpshot-reticent Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, who has attempted a mere 23 three-pointers in 7,362 minutes of NBA playing time across a little more than two and a half professional seasons and who shoots his free throws as though he has feet for hands, says that he is ready to shoot three-pointers now. Or, well, no, okay, to clarify: He says he feels like he wants to shoot three-pointers now. Or, well, actually, he said that back in roughly late February, in a discussion about his infamous near-total unwillingness to shoot three-pointers. Or anyway he sort of said it. Kind of.
“I feel like I want to take [3s] now,” Simmons said shortly before his injury, “as opposed to being asked to force them up. It could be during the playoffs. I’ve prepped so much for it, when I do it, it will work.”
Look, man. That definitely is Ben Simmons kind of almost saying that he is ready to shoot threes now, which is to say “now” as in February, which was shortly before he suffered a back injury that caused him to miss the last three games the 76ers played before the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA to suspend its season! I don’t see how anyone could dispute that this old-ass quote, issued what feels like an entire lifetime ago, under wildly different circumstances from those now prevailing and dusted off yesterday morning for a profile of Simmons by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, could support all on its own the assertion that Ben Simmons is “ready to step outside his comfort zone” or justify the following present-tense presentation from Sports Illustrated’s Justin Grasso:
Does anything Ben Simmons said multiple whole months ago offer any definitive insight into his present-day thoughts on the subject of shooting three-pointers? What would it even mean for Ben Simmons to say that he wants to take threes “now,” given that the NBA season has been suspended indefinitely and he almost certainly will not be able to prove any claims about his readiness to shoot three-pointers in live games that count at any point between now and let’s say autumn under the best possible circumstances? Was he even saying that he was ready to shoot three-pointers “now” when he said the above quote, or was he expressing a present-tense desire for the confidence that he would be able to shoot them efficiently alongside a caveat that he was not going to force them up before he’s ready just for the sake of satisfying critics? Who can say! (Ben Simmons can say, probably, but I guess he isn’t talking.)
Anyway this is huge. Ben Simmons is going to absolutely light it up from beyond the arc, just as soon as the coronavirus pandemic subsides, the NBA resumes play, his back injury heals, and his three-point stroke returns from its extended vacation on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, where it was staying with its uncle who is the head of development at Nintendo and gets all the new games months before they’re released.