PHILADELPHIA – It finally happened. After more than two seasons and in his 172nd NBA game, Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons made a 3-pointer.
The moment the Philadelphia fans have been waiting for came at 8:20 to play in the first quarter of Wednesday night's game at. Wells Fargo Center against the New York Knicks. Simmons took a swing pass from forward Furkan Korkmaz in the corner in front of the 76ers bench, squared up to the basket and knocked down the shot. He then turned and quietly ran back down the court while the fans went wild.
It had been almost four years – since November 30, 2015, when Simmons was a freshman at LSU playing against the College of Charleston – since he had made a 3-pointer in a competition game.
And this was the first time this season Simmons had even tried to take a 3-pointer after a season full of speculation that 3's could become a bigger part of his game. Video of him shooting 3s in pickup games showed up this season, and he later made his first trey of any kind in a Sixers uniform during one for the season game last month against the Guangzhou Long-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association.
"It's not that I don't have to," Simmons said during the preseason, when asked if he needs to add a 3-point shot to his game. "I'm convinced to say I'm not a giant shooter. But I'm getting better."
In addition to actually making a 3, the shot also stood out for several other reasons. It was the first time in Simmons' career that he even tried a corner 3-pointer, as well as the first time he had tried one of a catch-and-shoot variety, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
It was also only the third of Simmons' 17 3-point attempts in games during the regular season (he also missed one during the playoffs) that came within the flow of regular offense, with both the others that happened last season – February 10 against the Los Angeles Lakers and February 25 against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Simmons shooting has become such a topic of discussion thanks to amounts he has already achieved during his time in the NBA. The No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft 2016, Simmons was Rookie of the Year 2018 (he missed his first full season with a broken foot), was then an All-Star last season.
This past summer, the Sixers agreed to a five-year, $ 170 million max contract extension with Simmons to keep him in touch with star center Joel Embiid for many years to come.