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76ers fans go throw a parade: Ben Simmons & Kendall Jenner call it quits

While NBA headlines are being consumed by the NBA Finals and a massive pending free agency period these days, don’t sleep on this NBA break up that could change the league more than you think. 22 year old Aussie point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons is the latest NBA star to evade the daunting “Kardashian Curse” before it’s too late.

He and model/TV personality Kendall Jenner have broken up after a year of dating. Unlike past relationships involving Kendall’s fellow “Keeping up with the Kardashian’s” TV show member Khloe and NBA players such as James Harden, Lamar Odom, and Tristan Thompson, these two stayed relatively quiet in the public eye.

Nonetheless, Philly fans should be ecstatic that Simmons is no longer with Jenner. Harden was  heavy and noticeably out of shape during the one NBA season he dated Khloe. Things got bad and only got worse once Lamar Odom was with her. Take a look at Stephen A Smith’s video reacting to the New York Knicks signing Odom to give yourself a reminder.

Then Tristan Thompson was with her a few years back and it scared people so much that it actually became one of the main reasons to pick against his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to win an NBA title. They lost in the NBA finals that year and Tristan Thompson was so awful in that series they needed a team of search parties to find him. To this day Kanye West is the lone man to survive the dastardly “Kardashian Curse”. Okay, sort of. Not really. The bottom line is celebrities, particularly NBA stars, have all dealt with some issues after joining the beehive that is the Kardashian lifestyle. There’s a long track record of it at this point.

In Simmons case, we’re talking about an NBA baby who can become an all time great pantheon player if he reaches his potential. One of the biggest questions heading into last offseason was how much if at all, would Simmons improve his broken jumpshot?

This past season made it quite clear he was focused on kicking it in L.A with Kendall rather than working on it in the gym. Tough to knock a decision like that in one respect, but on the other hand even a decent mid range jumper for Simmons unlocks some crazy potential for his team.

Even without a good shot Simmons is already an excellent defender, one of the best passers in basketball and one of the top rebounders at his position at 6’10. He’s also a horse, physically mature beyond his years at age 22. This always makes him a dangerous threat when he’s charging down the lane in transition looking to finish at the rim. He’s also a very good low post scorer, having a go-to jump hook and the physique to bang with bigs in the league down low.

However, as a result of Simmons non existent outside shot, it actually makes his ability in the post a burden for his team. Fellow star and teammate Joel Embiid (age 25) is the single most dominant low post big man in basketball today. He should be spending most offensive possessions down on the block, not floating on the perimeter.

Unfortunately for the Sixers, since Simmons shoots an abysmal 20% from outside of eight feet, he’s forced to go down in the post so much because that’s the only way he can score in half court offense. This forces Embiid, a 7’2 monster to stand out on the perimeter far more often than he should. It also doesn’t help that Simmons is a poor free throw shooter. As long as he’s bad from the charity stripe his low post game will be compensated as players will hack him constantly.

Mark my words, if Simmons still doesn’t have a respectable mid range shot in two years, one of him and Embiid, whose chemistry has been questioned already, will force their way out of Philly effectively breaking that star-studded tandem up.

Or Simmons adds a jumpshot to his game, creating more spacing and playmaking for both him and Embiid. If this happens the Sixers will appear in and win multiple NBA finals. For Sixer fans, Simmons escaping the circus and distraction that comes with Kendall Jenner is a big first step towards this ultimate goal.

-Simon Brady

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