Ben Simmons Opts Out of 2021 Olympics
On the heels of a disappointing playoff run in which 76ers star Ben Simmons struggled with tremendously with both his shot and confidence, the three-time all-star has elected not to compete in the Tokyo Olympics for his native country of Australia. Instead, according to his agent Rich Paul, Simmons will take the summer to focus on his development as an individual.
Ben Simmons will focus on his game this offseason instead of joining the Australian national team for the Olympics https://t.co/p1MPl8tNks— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 28, 2021
Much of the spotlight has been on Simmons as of late, as it is extremely rare for a star of his magnitude, having just been an NBA All-Star for the third consecutive season at just 24 years of age and becoming an all-defensive First Team selection to struggle the way he did in this year’s playoffs.
Sure, critics of Simmons have always pointed to his lack of shooting ability, but his proficiencies in nearly every part of the game have made up for it for most of his career. But after averaging a measly 9.9 points per game in the 76ers second round matchup with the Atlanta Hawks and shooting a dismal 34% from the free throw line for the entire playoffs, Simmons shooting woes began to really effect his overall performance.
If all goes according to plan, the time Simmons will now have to hone his craft this summer will allow him to develop a consistent jump shot that NBA defenses will at least have to respect. But, as of this moment, the future is extremely unclear for the former #1 draft pick.