Video: Ben Simmons told he ‘can’t shoot’ after repeatedly being called Russell Westbrook

Zach Stevens
2 Min Read

Since being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers a year ago, Russell Westbrook has become a scapegoat among their fanbase, and his reputation around the NBA has seemingly gotten tarnished.

When Ben Simmons was recently spotted by a fan who intentionally mistook him for Westbrook, he was not happy.

Simmons is another man whose reputation has declined in recent months, but for different reasons.

As the top pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, he was once thought to have superstar potential because of his athleticism and his ability to attack in transition, finish strong, rebound, pass and defend at a high level.

But Simmons hasn’t fully panned out, mostly because of his inability and unwillingness to shoot the ball outside of the paint.

In that regard, there is a parallel between him and Westbrook, as both are liabilities in terms of outside shooting. However, their mindsets are polar opposites.

While Simmons has the tendency to be passive, Westbrook isn’t afraid to shoot the rock from long distances, to the point where he will sometimes take ill-advised 3-pointers.

Simmons drew the ire of many fans when he demanded a trade last summer after Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said he wasn’t sure if the Australian native could be the starting point guard on a championship team.

The 6-foot-11 man refused to play for the Sixers this past season and cut off almost all communication with everyone else in the organization, leading to him being traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.