Ben Simmons has pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics, the under siege Australian basketball star to instead spend his NBA off-season working on his skills.
In a move many saw coming after the 24-year-old’s inconsistent performances during Philadelphia’s early NBA playoffs exit, Simmons indicated that while he remained committed to representing the Boomers now was not the time.
“It is a pretty rough time for him right now and I know it is something that he wanted to do, but the timing just hasn’t worked,” Boomers coach Brian Goorjian said.
“The best thing for everybody right now is for him to go on and develop that skill package and improve in a couple of areas for his next season in the NBA, but the Boomers are always here for him.
“We wanted him to know that in his time of need, the culture and the guys here are behind him and support him.”
Simmons copped much of blame for the 76ers’ loss to Atlanta in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Australian’s struggles at the free-throw line impacting his confidence to the point where he began passing up wide open shots.
There has been much speculation the former No.1 draft pick will be traded this off-season, with 76ers coach Doc Rivers admitting after the game seven loss to the Hawks that he was not sure if his team could win a championship with Simmons running the team – although he has since said he is “bullish in Ben still”.
Brian Goorjian has always been the darling of the Australian basketball coaching ranks. Widely regarded as the most successful coach in Australian basketball, his 20-year coaching career has yielded six NBL Coach of the Year awards in 1992, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2009, and six NBL championships. He won two with the South East Melbourne […]
After four heart-breaking fourth-place finishes in previous Olympic Games, the Australian Boomers finally won that elusive medal on Saturday night, when they defeated Luka Doncic and Slovenia in the bronze medal game.