Kobe Bryant: Ben Simmons Dominating NBA with No Jump Shot Is 'Astonishing'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 5: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Orlando Magic on March 5, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant said Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons will "regret" not developing a jump shot if that area of his game doesn't improve throughout his NBA career. 

On Thursday, Bryant told the Herald Sun (via news.com.au) in Simmons' native Australia it's "astonishing" the Sixers' point guard has become a high-impact player without a consistent shot.

"He's got to get a jump shot," Kobe said. "It sounds stupid and all that but I'm dead-ass serious. Because if not, he will regret it when his career is over."

Simmons is averaging 17 points across 64 appearances for Philly during the 2018-19 season, but he's done it almost entirely by attacking the rim. He's attempted only 15 three-point shots during his first two years in the NBA and missed them all.

"I just want to get better," he told reporters in January about his increase in mid-range shots. "I'm not really worried about the immediate outcome. I think it's just the start of something special in my game that I'm adding. I think it's one of those parts of my game that'll really separate me."

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That said, he helps the Sixers in a multitude of ways despite not following the league-wide trend of taking a bunch of threes every game. He's averaging 9.2 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 56.4 percent from the floor.

He also rates eighth among point guards in Player Efficiency Rating, per ESPN.com.

Simmons' value could reach another level if he becomes an outside-shooting threat, though. Bryant pointed to Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd, who shot 27.2 percent from beyond the arc as a rookie but eventually had a season where he shot 46.1 percent on threes, as an example to follow.

"I think his development will come in shooting obviously," Bryant told the Herald Sun. "At some point he's got to be able to shoot that ball. Jason Kidd, when he came in the league, wasn't a great shooter, but he worked to the point where he became one of the best three-point shooters we've had in our league in history."

Alas, making more threes starts with shooting them more frequently, something Simmons has yet to do.

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