In a Tuesday mailbag for the New York Times, longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein outlined the players he'd select to form an "all-lefty team," a timely roundup considering International Lefthanders Day was Monday.
Stein included Sixers star Ben Simmons on his team of talented lefties, which also included Houston's James Harden, Miami's Goran Dragic, Utah's Joe Ingles and Dallas' DeAndre Jordan.
Simmons threw out the first pitch at a Phillies game in May with his right hand, which he also prefers to shoot layups with. But in a passing line, Stein suggested there's talk in the NBA that Simmons could switch to shooting jump shots and free throws with his right hand this season.
"It's August, people. Don't get too heated here — not over this. If Simmons goes all righty this season, as some expect, we will adjust," Stein said.
Stein isn't the first person to mention Simmons shooting with his right hand. Sixers teammate J.J. Redick said he was among those who suggested the young phenom switch his shooting hand, noting on his podcast back in April that he thought Simmons' shooting form left-handed "is worse than his form right-handed." In May, ESPN Get Up! co-host and NBA veteran Jalen Rose reiterated his position that Simmons shoots with the wrong hand.
"When it's 18 seconds and he gets an offensive rebound, you're under duress, you're going to go to your strength. He shoots with his right hand," Rose said. "But when he goes to the free throw line, he's shooting with his left hand. I think that's something that has to get corrected."
Simmons struggled all season shooting free throws, sinking just 56 percent from the line. The NBA free-throw average is 77 percent.
Regardless, Simmons had a simple response on Twitter to the suggestion he might disqualify himself from Stein's "all-lefty team" in the upcoming season.
Bob Ley's first day at ESPN was on Sept. 9, 1979, just three days after the network launched on cable television. That's more than 38 years of continued broadcasting on ESPN staples like SportsCenter and Outside the Lines.
On Monday, Ley announced on Twitter that it was time for a bit of a break from the network. Beginning Oct. 1, Ley will be taking a six-month sabbatical from his current role anchoring ESPN's investigative news programs Outside the Lines and E:60 (which recently aired features on Millville, N.J. native Mike Trout and Eagles stars Jason Kelse and Zach Ertz).
"The idea of stepping back to re-charge is fully 100% mine, and one I've been considering for a while," Ley wrote. "I truly appreciate the company's understanding and cooperation."
Holding down the fort until April 1 will be Outside the Lines and E:60 regulars Jeremy Schapp, Ryan Smith and former Inquirer reporter Kate Fagan.
Ley, among the most prominent conservatives working at ESPN, has publicly criticized the perception that the network has a liberal bias or agenda. But he has also spoken out repeatedly about ESPN's need to work on the diversity of thought throughout the organization, including at the Bristol, Conn., headquarters.
"Just by being in the Northeast, in a blue state, in an athletic culture where the issues are evident and where they play on the political spectrum, there's going to be a dominance of liberal, progressive thinking on topics," Ley told Awful Announcing in May. "Diversity of thought, I think, is on the road to being much improved."
Speaking about politics, Washington cornerback Josh Norman has a simple suggestion for the NFL on how to deal with President Trump's repeated interference on the issue of protests during the national anthem — ignore him.
"This guy is going to [be] out of office in two years. I think we'll be OK. Trust me: The accounts will be fine," Norman told The Ringer's Kevin Clark. "I wouldn't put emphasis on it. Because the fans are going to come. It's not like you've got scabs on the field like in 1987. So what if it's a down year?"
Norman's comments echo the comments of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who said the league should ignore tweets from the president about players who protest racial injustice during the national anthem.
Last month, the NFL put its new national anthem policy on hold after it received widespread criticism from both sides of the political divide. Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was among the players to protest during the first week of the preseason, which earned a strong rebuke from Trump, who suggested players who refuse to stand "proudly" during the anthem should be suspended without pay.