How do the stars of the Philadelphia 76ers motivate each other before taking the court? Do they get a pump-up speech going? Or perhaps they have a specific ritual that they need to take part in. Well, I guess you could consider it a routine, but it’s not all that common. In order for Sixers stars Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons to stay motivated, they make bets before the game.
That’s right. Before every single game, the two stars sit down and discuss a friendly wager on how many blocks and steals they will get individually. They have used this tool ever since Butler got to Philly, and it looks like it is paying off very well.
Ever since Butler took Simmons under his wing, all have become well for the Sixers. Not that Simmons was some scrub before, but the addition of the star forward has definitely created a significant impact on the whole team. But more specifically, Ben Simmons.
We all know that the Sixers can spread the ball around and score, but nobody knew how their defense would be. With the addition of Butler, the Sixers understood that they were getting a solid two-way player. And since Butler and Simmons are placing friendly bets before every game, the second-year guard is beginning to play a lot better on defense as well. All thanks to Jimmy Butler’s tactic of making bets.
There’s Bragging Rights on the Line
Butler revealed the pregame bet idea on Sunday night after the Sixers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 103-95 at home. The all-around effort from Philadelphia was solid, but their progress on the defensive front is improving each and every game.
On the official box score, Butler finished the night with only one block. Simmons, on the other hand, finished the game with zero blocks, but he had two steals. But according to Butler, it should be a push since he believes that Joel Embiid was credited with one of his blocks.
Hopefully for the Sixers sake, the bets remain just friendly. The last thing that Philly wants is a locker room rift being caused by a lost bet. In all seriousness though, the betting tactic is an excellent idea, and it is apparently helping out Simmons on the other side of the ball.
Now, the only thing he is missing is a mid-to-long range jump shot. Once Simmons gets that down, he will be an excellent all-around player. And if Butler sticks around with the Sixers beyond 2018, then maybe they will use the friendly betting as a motivational tool for shooting and scoring in the future as well.