One of the surprises from this NBA postseason was when the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the East's Semifinals. Immediately after, fingers pointed to point guard Ben Simmons. The Philadelphia guard struggled mightily from the free-throw line, usually hovering around the 50 percent mark each game. Additionally, the basketball community criticized him for passing up an open shot in the series finale. Following the Game Seven loss, Simmons left social media, but he returned today with a post on Instagram.
With his birthday being today, he took a chance to reflect on his experiences while showing that the work goes on. This caption is essential to mention after Danny Green commented on Simmons and the 76ers following playoffs. Green pointed out that Simmons has the gifts, but the risks of failing seemed to overpower his thoughts. Green would also comment on the franchise's fans, saying they need to back up their players, despite poor performances. As Green would mention, Philadelphia boos their home team when disappointed.
It would make sense that he blocked out the noise for the first month after the playoffs. On top of the fans, there were various opinions in the media. Looking for answers to Simmons' lack of confidence, one analyst even advised Simmons to switch shooting hands. Also, that analyst would later say that it would be a fresh start for Ben Simmons, and he would not be so in his head.
With the offseason nearly upon the NBA, perhaps this is the fresh start that some players like Simmons need. There is no better time to refine a skill than in the summer. But, as Simmons said in his post, he will continue the relentless pursuit. The league and its fans will see how far that takes him next year.