Jim O’Brien Rumors
That season, Simmons’ free-throw shooting regressed once again, plunging back down to 60%, not quite as bad as his rookie-season marks but still a significant drop from his playoff rate. He also took just 25 shots outside of 16 feet after attempting 40 as a rookie. At one point during the year, Jim O’Brien, a longtime NBA coach and former Sixers assistant who was serving as a special adviser to Brown, posed a question during a coaches meeting. “Name me one area where Ben Simmons has improved,” he asked his colleagues. The room fell silent.
Derek Bodner: Jim O’Brien, who had moved to a role as a senior advisor prior to the start of this season, has moved back on the bench for the #sixers following the departure of Billy Lange. O’Brien will oversee the team’s defense.
While George didn’t necessarily have a great relationship with O’Brien, George did credit O’Brien in a recent episode of the Short Story Long podcast for helping George become better defensively. “My rookie year, I had an [expletive] coach,” George said. “I’m just going to be 100. He was hard on me. He was tough for whatever reason and that’s what helped me into being a defender. The only way I was seeing the court was to play some defense. So, that changed me early and that’s the reason why I play the game now how I play it because of him. In a way, he helped me, [but] that’s all I can say about him.”