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Doc Rivers Compares Ben Simmons To Magic Johnson: "No-one Cared That He Didn't Make Threes..."

Reggie Miller: “Now The Casual Fan, Will Pick Up The Box Score And Say ‘You Know What? Ben Simmons, He Only Scored 7 Points’. No My Friend. Ben Simmons Created 41 Points Tonight - Assisted On 34 points, 10 3-Pointers... Don’t Look At The 1-7."

Ben Simmons is a player with a variety of different talents. He has the build of a forward, yet he passes like a point guard. He guards the opponent's best player, while also creating shots for his teammate. Despite Simmons impacting the game in a myriad of ways, many have criticized him for not being able to score from beyond the arc. 

While the jumper may still be an issue, it is clear that Ben Simmons is still an extremely talented player and a gifted facilitator. Coach Doc Rivers believes that just because Simmons doesn't take perimeter shots, doesn't mean he that he can't create them. During a recent episode of The Green Room podcast, Rivers has made the comparison between Simmons and Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson.

Just because Ben doesn’t shoot threes, doesn’t mean he doesn’t create threes. He is the lead in threes created.

Before the three-point line was really popular, there was a guy named Magic Johnson, and no one cared that he didn’t make threes or shoot threes; they just loved how Magic played. I wish we could look at Ben more like that.

Magic Johnson notably wasn't an elite long-range shooter, though he was still able to make them. Ben Simmons certainly has traits in his gameplay that make him remind people of Magic Johnson: the size, the elite ability in transition, and the finishing at the rim are clearly there. 

While it is obvious that Magic Johnson is the more accomplished player, Doc Rivers makes the apt point that Johnson wasn't hated for his style of play. Ben Simmons brings a lot to the table: perhaps we should just sit back and enjoy the unique way he helps his team win.