Ben Simmons is a unicorn, apparently.
Topics has been following the career of Simmons, the Newcastle-raised basketball superstar, who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers.
We told you when he made the cover of Men’s Health, we told you that he’d been compared to superstars like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James, we told you about his dalliance with Kendall Jenner [of the Kardashian clan] and we told you about him winning the coveted award of NBA Rookie of the Year.
Being on Ben Watch is fun.
Now we can report that Ben is a unicorn.
We were watching an ESPN show titled, Ben Simmons Year One.
“He is incredibly rare, he is very much a unicorn when it comes to being just really different,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said.
Julius Irvine, an NBA Hall of Famer, added that Simmons was a “once in a decade, maybe once-in-a-lifetime type player”.
Pundits went on to say that Simmons had a lethal combination of electrifying speed, court vision and pure strength.
They pointed out that he had one weakness – the lack of a jump shot.
Nobody’s perfect, right?
What is a unicorn?
We all know that unicorns are mythical horse-like creatures with long horns, symbols of beauty, grace and magic and inhabitants of childhood dreamworlds.
In the business world, the term unicorn has been used to describe a start-up company worth more than a $1 billion.
It’s this use that probably led to its migration to the NBA, given the competition’s top players are worth an absolute fortune.
In basketball parlance, a unicorn is a player with limitless potential – a super athlete who is approaching the immortal realm and, fittingly, the world of fantasy.
An Ancient Symbol
We wrote on Monday about this photo of basketballer Cassidy McLean.
Reader Wendy Foster pointed out the optical illusion in the photo, which was originally published in the Herald’s sports section.
Reader Ken Phelan had heard of the “Three Legs of Man”, but said “this is my first sighting of the three legs of woman!”
For those who don’t know, the famous Three Legs of Man is a triskelion, consisting of three bent armoured legs.
It was adopted as the Isle of Man’s royal coat of arms in the 13th Century. In 1932, it became the island’s official flag.
The triskelion is an ancient symbol, based on three interlocking Archimedean spirals. This profound spiral was named after the 3rd century BC Greek mathematician Archimedes.
It appears in many early cultures in the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages. It’s also found in nature.
We’re pretty sure Herald photographer Max Mason-Hubers wasn’t deliberately seeking to create a triskelion in his photo of Cassidy. But you never know, he does have a lot of artistic flair.