When LaVar Ball took shots at Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid by saying the young Philly duo should “get their asses off the goddamn twitter and get in the gym,” fans of the process were quick to point out if you follow them on social media then you would probably think they live in the gym. In their latest gym video, Simmons ends practice with a full court football throw/shot. What makes this so impressive is he threw it with his right hand and he’s a lefty…I think.
If you watched Simmons in high school and college you probably noticed he shoots his jumpers with his left hand but mainly dunks and finishes with his right. He also mainly passes, grabs boards, blocks shots and pretty much does everything with his right hand.
“I think I was supposed to be right-handed,” Said Ben during a 2016 interview. “It’s all natural now.”
In that same interview, he said his father made him dribble and shoot with left hand when he was a child and it just stuck.
Also in 2016, Kevin O’Conner of SB Nation wrote about the ambidextrous Simmons and asked if he was shooting with the wrong hand. In his breakdown, he found out that Simmons made just 12 of 35 jump shots with his left hand at LSU and 81.5% of Simmons’ non-jumpers were taken with his right-hand, 14.7% with his left and 3.8% with both. That’s pretty unusual and what makes his habit of going to his right hand even more unusual is he will often jump off his right foot. Usually a player will finish with the opposite hand of the foot they jumped off from.
And here’s Reddit user Questzalcoatlus‘ thoughts on Simmons’ shot.
His footwork is that of a lefthanded player. For example, when posting up, he turns towards the middle to do a left hand hook, but then releases with his right hand.
The thing he consistently does left-handed is shoot, and it’s probably not a coincidence he is terrible at it. You can see when he shoots that he brings it up like a right-handed shooter then switches to his left hand. He also occassionally puts his right shoulder out front, which is natural for right handed shooters.
I believe Simmons is going to be a great player in the league and I have no doubt that he’s working hard in the gym but I can’t help but think he might have been better off trying to switch to his right hand during his sat-out season. Like O’Connor said, “If Ben Simmons is as ambidextrous as he appears, then a switch should come naturally.”
Oh well, I guess I’m just going to have to trust the process.
BONUS VIDEO: EMBIID CALLS SIMMONS “SOFT” DURING WORKOUT