Brett Brown has set his sights on Olympic gold after being officially announced as Boomers coach.
He replaces Andrej Lemanis at the helm of Australia’s men’s basketball team.
Basketball Australia finally confirmed the news on Wednesday morning, a week after it was first reported and subsequently acknowledged by a bulk of the current squad.
“This is our mission and my message to our team, we’re going into the 2020 Olympics to win a gold medal,” Brown said.
“I understand the magnitude of this statement. I would feel irresponsible having any other goal but this.”
Lemanis took over from Brown after the London Olympics and led the Boomers to fourth at both the Rio Games and recent World Cup in China.
Relationships with key players were strained though, with both Ben Simmons and Jonah Bolden late World Cup withdrawals.
Both play under Brown at the Philadelphia 76ers.
Last week NBA All-Star Simmons said he was excited to play under Brown at the Oympics.
In what he described as a collaborative process, Lemanis said Brown was best equipped to bring home the side’s first international medal from Tokyo.
“One of the key elements in making the Boomers environment so special is the willingness of everyone involved to sacrifice for the greater good of the team,” the Brisbane Bullets coach said.
“For the culture to remain, we all have to live by, and display, those values.
“It is my belief that for the Boomers to medal at the Tokyo Olympics, the coach best positioned to deliver that is Brett Brown.
“His understanding of, and connection to, the NBA environment and nuances, as well as his knowledge and love of Australian basketball position him as the best person to lead the team in Tokyo.”
Under Lemanis the Boomers have risen to a new high of world No.3, only narrowly missing medals in Brazil and China in heartbreaking circumstances.
But he had no doubt his time was up, reaching out to Brown with the offer after serving as his assistant in London.
“When the opportunity to coach the Boomers next summer in Tokyo came up, I was reminded of my deep history with Australia and Australian basketball,” Brown said.
“I felt a duty to try and help in any way that I could.
“The spirit of the country and the athletes of the country exemplify on a day-to-day basis the passion that is Australian sport.
“That passion is respected and recognised throughout the world and I’m very excited to be a part of that again.”