Ben Simmons isn’t done.
Ben Simmons isn’t done.

Simmons’ pure-class defining act

IN his lowest moment, Aussie Ben Simmons showed what he is made of - and Australia can feel safe that its biggest star in the NBA is going to do us proud.

Simmons was stoic after his 76ers were knocked out of the NBA playoffs on Thursday - beaten by Boston in a last-gasp 114-112 result that's sent the Celtics to an Eastern Conference finals showdown with LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers.

For Philly, there was only heartbreak as their last-gasp final play saw Simmons's long-range prayer down the court get picked off.

Like with every Sixers loss this playoffs campaign, the critics came for him hard after Philly surrendered a lead in the final two-minutes, choking in crunch time.

Along with questions surrounding his defence in the final quarter, Simmons' final pass and failure to score in the final five minutes has again spurred arguments that fellow rookie Jayson Tatum was the superior first-year star in this series.

It was an ugly, ugly series for the 21-year-old Aussie.

Stats have provided a damning assessment of his influence on Boston's 4-1 series win.

With Simmons on the floor, Philadelphia was -63 across the five games. When he was benched, Philadelphia was +48 across the five games on points differential.

He had the lowest rating out of every player involved in the series.

Walking off the court after having to congratulate and shake hands with his celebrating Boston rivals was the lowest moment of his young career - but he instead turned it into a moment that will define his career's upwards trajectory.

While walking off the court, Simmons spotted a lone Sixers fan sitting several rows back, level with the court and handed him his Sixers singlet - sparking an unforgettable response from the fan.

The young supporter's disbelief at Simmons gesture sparked plenty of chatter on social media.

It wasn't his only classy gesture in his toughest hour.

He also shared an emotional embrace with rookie rival Tatum at the end of the series.

He had to do it all in front of Boston's home crowd which had jeered him and heckled him with chants of: "Not a rookie" in reference to Simmons claim to be this year's NBA rookie of the year, having missed his entire first season through injury.

Simmons acknowledged the crowd got the better of him this series in his post-match press conference, but his boldest declaration shows this heavy series loss has not broken him.

Simmons sought out teammate Joel Embiid after the game - already focused on their 2018-19 season campaign.

Embiid said Simmons came to him and showed him his hands while saying, "there's going to be a lot of (championship) rings in the future".

"We have a bright future. We have a lot of room to grow."

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