It’s been a pretty dead off-season since free agency cooled down, so we do what we do best right around now: get overly hype when we see Philadelphia 76ers players either working out or being socially active. (If you ran into Joel Embiid at Center City Sips, then I’m immediately jealous.)
Sixers point guard Ben Simmons was at the Rico Hines UCLA Run running 5-on-5’s with other players like Russell Westbrook, PJ Tucker, Australian comrade Dante Exum, and the #2 overall pick from the last draft, Marvin Bagley III.
Rico Hines is a UCLA graduate who played for the Golden State Warriors in 2006-2010 before entering the coaching ranks with St. John’s University in 2010 as an assistant under head coach Steve Lavin. Currently, Hines is the assistant coach for the Stockton Kings — Sacramento’s G-League affiliate.
Simmons isn’t at the Drew League or anything — which is probably the more notable league in Los Angeles, but there are some things to watch in this fourteen minute video:
If you don’t have 14 minutes to spare, then I’ll be happy to give you some of my favorite highlights:
- 2:42 - Simmons starts left side and has a nice reverse finish.
- 4:10 - Simmons initiates a give-and-go where he finishes through contact.
- 4:21 - Behind the back dribble hand off to a plunging Tristan Thompson.
- 8:22 - Simmons attemps to serve Bismack Biyombo (?) fresh yams.
- 10:05 - Ben Simmons jumper alert! (Over Bagley.)
- 10:27 - Ben Simmons FADEAWAY jumper alert! (Also over Bagley.)
Ben Simmons seems to be taking the whole “needing a jumper” thing seriously since it’s always the topic of discussion regarding his evolution. Simmons isn’t shooting right handed. He’s shooting lefty, so shout out to my nemesis at the Ringer, Kevin O’Connor. (He’s a lefty, Kevin. Stop trying to make that point.)
It looks to be coming along well, but let’s not get too excited ... yet.