76ers' Ben Simmons Reflects on 'Amazing Highs' and 'Lowest Lows' amid Trade Rumors

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 20, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons plays during Game 7 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons reflected on his life in an Instagram post Tuesday to celebrate his 25th birthday.

"Reflecting back I've experienced some amazing highs and, with that, some of the lowest lows. Life's a journey," Simmons wrote. "I'll always remain relentless and remain human through it all. Here's to my 25-year #Relentlesspursuit doing what I love on my b-day; I'm blessed."

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck

First Simmons social media sighting of the off-season <a href="https://t.co/dLKsuiXwFV">pic.twitter.com/dLKsuiXwFV</a>

Simmons became the focus of intense criticism after the Sixers were eliminated from the 2021 NBA playoffs by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round. The Australia native attempted just 14 shots from the field and scored only 19 points across the final three games of that series.

Philly head coach Doc Rivers was asked after the Game 7 loss whether the three-time All-Star could be the point guard on a championship team and didn't provide a direct answer.

"I don't know the answer to that right now," Rivers told reporters June 20.

The next day, the Sixers' coach changed his tune and explained the franchise had a plan to work through Simmons' longtime shooting woes.

"I believe, without going into detail with what we're doing, I believe we know what the right work is, and the right type of work, and the right way to do it," Rivers said. "You can do the work all the time, but if it's not done in the right way and the right type of work, you may not improve."

That said, it remains uncertain whether Simmons will remain with the 76ers or if he'll get traded during the offseason as part of a roster shake-up in Philadelphia.

Simmons, a two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection, features one of the NBA's most versatile skill sets, but his struggles as a three-point shooter (14.7 percent on only 34 career attempts) and from the free-throw line (59.7 percent) have prevented him from reaching the league's upper echelon.

At 25, there's still plenty of time for him to improve on those weak points, either as the member of the Sixers or another team to open the 2021-22 campaign.