Shaquille O’Neal Compares Ben Simmons with NBA Legends Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd

Published 02/26/2021, 2:27 AM EST
Feb 15, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) shoots over Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the second quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports


Ben Simmons has been having an excellent season so far. The Philadelphia 76ers guard has transformed under new coach Doc Rivers. While his scoring numbers are not outstanding, it is his overall game that has seen a drastic leap this year. Simmons is playing some of the best basketball of his career, and Shaq thinks he is similar to two NBA greats.

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Shaq compares Simmons to all-time great passers

Former NBA Champion Shaquille O’Neal had high praise for Ben Simmons recently. According to NBA analyst Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, Shaq revealed that Ben Simmons reminded him of NBA legends – Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd. Both Kidd and Johnson were excellent passers of the ball and helped run the offense of their teams through playmaking.

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Coming from Shaq, this is truly high praise for Ben Simmons. Simmons is one of the best passers in the NBA currently. For the season, Simmons is averaging close to 8 assists a game, on top of his 15 points and 8 rebounds. The only major weakness in Simmons’ game is his shooting, but the 76ers have done well to compensate for that.

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During the off-season, the 76ers acquired Danny Green and Seth Curry. This was primarily to surround Ben Simmons with solid three-point shooters to make plays for, and both players have slotted really well into the system. Doc Rivers has done an excellent job with the franchise, as the 76ers have the best record in the Eastern Conference at the moment.

Ben Simmons on a roll this season

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Simmons has been in the NBA for almost four years now, and while he has made All-Star teams in the past, his game never translated to team success for the 76ers. However, this year, Simmons’ numbers are great individually and also reflect his contributions to the 76ers’ excellent record in the league. The 76ers are one of the favorites to win the NBA championship this year.

Feb 15, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) shoots over Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the third quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
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Can Ben Simmons help the 76ers win the NBA championship? The former Rookie of the Year will have to improve on all fronts to help the 76ers get to the promised land. While Simmons has shown a vast improvement in his game this year, the 76ers will hope that his scoring numbers improve even further, as they will need all the help they can get to win the championship.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1149 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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