The Ben Simmons empty gym summer video series: a tradition unlike any other.
Simmons, who admitted after his unacceptable second-round series against the Hawks that he needs to better and that he had a mental block offensively during the playoffs, has slowly been posting more on social media after a month off.
Simmons celebrated his birthday out in Los Angeles, he popped up in a few Instagram stories with his new romantic interest Maya Jama, and even shared a few photos from a gym. That's totally fine! Unlike some unreasonable fans, I'm not mad that his entire offseason isn't purely basketball. That would be weird. Live your life, Ben!
But don't lie to us.
Which is exactly what he's doing, once again, in a new video posted by his trainer Chris Johnson on Monday afternoon:
Whoa, Ben Simmons shooting threes in a controlled environment?! Never seen that before! Time to fully convince myself he's going to be a changed player next year and not the same guy he's been since he was drafted. This is great!
Sixers fans, who've been treated to different versions of this Charlie Brown Football Trick over and over, are entirely fed up and not even entertaining the videos anymore:
In a vacuum, yes, it is good that Simmons is working on his shot in August. Objectively, it is very good that he's working on a glaring weakness and ideally trying to develop a skill that would unlock so many things for the Sixers on offense. Sure. Whatever.
But given the context of Sixers fans' feelings about Simmons after the season ended, and given the fact that these videos haven't led to a single iota of improvement in terms of his jump shot in the last three years? Someone should've told Simmons, or Johnson, to keep this one in the camera roll instead of launching it out onto social media.
Because unless Simmons really, truly has changed - and there is no evidence to that being the case after the exact same behavior for the last three years - these aren't going to lead to in-game attempts. He is who he is, and he isn't a shooter.
So don't pretend to be one in the summer.