Ben Simmons Is Learning What The Price Of Greatness Entails

LeBron James once anointed Sixers rookie Ben Simmons “Young King” and people actually went for that mess. The most perplexing and comical offering Ive heard from some of the more respected sports minds across the platform is that Simmons is the next LeBron. Then the words, He just needs to develop a jump shot usually follows. 

To my knowledge, jump shooting is a skill and its not something you can find at a second hand store like a raspberry beret. Theres a reason why some guys are just prolific shooters such as Steph Curry and others struggle with consistent long range bombing. Its a talent that was not distributed equally by the basketball Gods.   

Simmons is damn good, but not Bob Marley great. His game is too limited right now and can be neutralized in a playoff atmosphere. 

The Sixers arent even asking Simmons to shoot long distance. They just want him to create, innovate on a higher level and use his size to get some easy buckets close to the rim. Unfortunately, on Thursday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semis between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons couldnt muster any offense and finished 0-4 from the field with 1 point and five turnovers in 31 minutes. 

It’s a stat line so ugly that it can turn medusa herself into stone and it was a main reason why the Celtics won the game 108-102 to take a 2-0 lead in a series that many said would be a clean Philly sweep.  

Celtics on NBC Sports Boston on Twitter

Ben Simmons disappears in Game 2, scoring just 1 point. #Celtics lead 2-0

So what we simply have here is an example of how a narrative driven home by the combination of social media, TV personalities, radio talking heads and fan sheepism can be misconstrued. Things such as Joel Embiids propensity for taking bad shots, Simmons wicked horrible shooting and the fact that these guys have never experienced NBA playoff action didnt factor into the emotional decisions made concerning the possibilities of this years Sixers team.

Dr. J: Ben Simmons is ‘once-in-a-decade, maybe once-in-a-lifetime’ player | NBA Countdown | ESPN

Michelle Beadle, Jalen Rose and David Fizdale break down Julius Irving’s comments that Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons is a “once-in-a-decade, maybe once-in-a-lifetime” player.

I guess the national media got caught up in the city of Phillys eventful year and the release of Meek Mill, the new spokesman for criminal justice reform. The city of Philly is lit right now and most people assumed that string of success would naturally roll over to this series.  

The playoffs can be sobering. How do you think we separate the super lit from the Elite? The numbers arent much different when we are talking stats and stars, but the playoffs is where the elite players make that separation. Ben Simmons has gotten all of the props and respect in the regular season. 

Ben Simmons Mix – King Is Born (17-18 Philadelphia 76ers Highlights)

Ben Simmons Mix – King Is Born SUBSCRIBE for more NBA clips & mixes: SONG: King is Born – Aloe Blacc These are the best highlights from Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons. No, there is no Kyle Lowry fight in this mix.

Embiid has captivated the world with his personality and constant Twitter activity and his #trusttheprocess slogan. But the tandem has come up short so far against a team in Boston that matches Phillys youthful exuberance with three young rising stars of their own. 

Boston Celtics on Twitter

That’s #BeatPHILA | #CUsRise

The Sixers are learning how hard it is to advance in the NBA playoffs, even when youre the favorite. Simmons had what you call a choke game. It doesn’t mean that he wont go on to have one of the greatest careers and contribute to changing the game in his own way as a huge guard with multi-faceted abilities. Simmons has never had a moment like this in his basketball life.

The playoffs are a different beast. Its that welcome to the NBA moment. Before last night, Simmons probably thought he was dominating the league. Now he knows he has work to do and hes not the first future legend to go out like a poo butt in a playoff game. 

With the Lakers’ season in the balance in 1997, an 18-year-old rookie named Kobe Bryant airballed four shots and they lost in five games to the Utah Jazz.  That performance motivated him to become The Black Mamba, a five-time champion and one of the Top 10 players in the history of the game. He refined every aspect of his game and made sure that he had an answer for any weakness the opposition tried to exploit. 

Defining Moment Of Kobe Bryant’s Career – Shooting 4 Air Balls vs. Jazz In Playoffs

Rookie Kobe Bryant Shooting 4 Air Balls vs. Jazz WCSF G5 1997 Playoffs. “It was an early turning point for me,” Bryant said. “At 18 years old, it was gut check time. I look back at it now with fond memories of it, but back then, it was misery.”

The best thing about Simmons low moment is that he still has five games left to turn it around and theres no way he will have the same limp production. The playoff grind is real and so is the learning process for a player who is discovering what the price of greatness truly entails. 

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