Start at 1:15 because YouTube’s sharing feature is absolute dogshit

Man could you imagine what Ben Simmons with a jumper would look like? It would be like Magic Johnson mixed with LeBron James mixed with Kawhi Leonard. Probably the greatest player of all time. Wish there was some footage someone could dig up to give us an idea.

There is?

The jumper definitely wasn’t pretty at all and defenders still didn’t respect it, but shit it’s a jumpshot. At least it would spread the floor and at least make Ben’s defender think on defense. Kobe’s right to when he says “it’s astonishing how much he’s accomplished already without one”. I mean imagine making 3rd team All-NBA refusing to shoot jumpers. That’s nuts. That’s like DaVinci having to paint the Mona Lisa with his feet because he had no arms. It’s like Gerrit Cole winning the Cy Young without spider tack.

I know this has been beaten into the ground and no one really knows the answer of if his work ethic is actually good or not, but I think it falls somewhere in the middle.

Without a work ethic you’re not making All-Star teams and you’re definitely not making All NBA teams. You can’t just get off the couch and become a top-15 player in the NBA. I think when sources say he doesn’t work in the gym they mean on his jumpshot. I don’t think it means he sits around and plays video games all day and eats Four N Twenty meat pies. LeBron wouldn’t take Ben under his wing if he was like that. But what he doesn’t do is go above and beyond working on his game. There’s no chance he’s in the gym 10 hours a day like Kobe or will one day spend millions on his body like LeBron. And that’s cool, but if you want to be an elite player those are the sacrifices you make.

One of my favorite Kobe moments that I don’t think people talk enough about when it comes to his legacy is Utah in the 1997 playoffs. It actually kind of resembles Ben’s free throw struggles this postseason. Against the Jazz Kobe lost the Lakers the game by airballing 4 shots in the final minutes of the 4th quarter and overtime. He was 18 and got a ton of backlash from national media. How’d he deal with it?

“It was an early turning point for me in being able to deal with adversity, deal with public scrutiny and self-doubt,” Bryant recalled. “At 18 years old, it was gut-check time.”

Bryant responded to that gut-check time by going to Palisades High shortly after the Lakers landed in Los Angeles that night. Then, Bryant worked on his shot “until the sun came up.” He spent the rest of his offseason repeating that routine every day.

Dudes like MJ and Kobe always impressed me more than LeBron. LeBron is a physical specimen made in a lab. You could be walking down the street and see more guys that look like Kobe and MJ than LeBron. Those guys had to work to be the greatest in the world because they weren’t gifted with bodies carved out of rock. Ben Simmons is built like LeBron and its malpractice he’s not doing everything in his control to become an elite player like him.