Ben Simmons said it felt good for his hard work to pay off after the 76ers star drained his first NBA 3-pointer.
Simmons ended his long wait for a regular-season three as the 76ers topped the New York Knicks 109-104 on Wednesday.
The number one pick in the 2016 draft, All-Star guard Simmons had attempted 17 shots from beyond the arc in the league, with much made about his jump shot and unwillingness to shoot the 3. Simmons, however, made a three-pointer in the opening quarter against the Knicks — his 172nd game in the NBA.
“It feels good to put work in in the summer and it pays off,” Simmons said post-game in Philadelphia midweek.
Wells Fargo Center erupted as fans and teammates celebrated Simmons’ maiden 3-pointer.
The last time Simmons made a 3-pointer in a competitive game was Nov. 30, 2015, while he was a freshman at LSU playing against the College of Charleston — almost four years ago. There was speculation throughout the offseason Simmons had added range to his shooting game, but this was the first 3-pointer he’d attempted so far in 2019-20.
“We need him to shoot,” 76ers teammate Joel Embiid said. “It’s great to see him make it, take it, most importantly make it. That’s great. He’s going to keep getting better and make it happen. But it was nothing special. We see it in practice. We’ve seen it a lot, so it’s not surprising to me.”
Sixers head coach Brett Brown added: “Like I’ve said for a while now, other people get more excited about it than I do. “But how can that not be a good thing? And, really, if we’re all honest, that’s the first legitimate sort of three he’s taken.
“A lot of them have been heaves at the end of periods, and stuff like that. But I think his footwork, his confidence, he rose up and he didn’t blink. He looked great.”