Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons has drawn comparisons to LeBron James for some time. His ability to pass the ball at his size and play multiple positions, coupled with his defensive potential, make him an obvious choice to be a lasting star in the league.
The problem with Simmons, as we well know, is that he cannot shoot. This has fundamentally changed the geometry of how teams defend the Sixers, and has limited his impact as teams have started to game plan for Simmons.
Still, the talent is there and the potential is not lost for some. According to Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, he believes that Simmons could be one of the best to ever play the game… if he figures out how to reliably shoot the ball.
Via Michael Lee of The Athletic:
“I’m a big Ben Simmons fan. And I want him to do like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Keep working on his game, become a very good shooter, because if he keeps working on his jump shot, he’s going to be one of the best to ever do it,” Barkley said.
As we have seen with former Philadelphia guard Markelle Fultz, it’s not easy to fix what ails a person in the shooting department. Some players just never become good shooters, despite work with coaches and excellent practice habits.
Simmons is still young at age 23, but patience will wear thin with Sixers fans if he can’t figure out how to become a threat from beyond 10 feet. Until then, we can put the Hall of Fame hypotheticals on hold.