If Ben Simmons wants to someday play for Australia, the decision will be his. The national team isn’t going to pull out all of the stops to recruit him.
“This is very important. In my dealings with Ben, it’s always been: ‘I’m not recruiting you,'” head coach Brian Goorjian told ESPN’s Olgun Uluc. “It’s important for the country [to know], we’re not going, ‘Please, Ben, please, we don’t have anything if you don’t play’. We’re not like that at all.”
Simmons, 27, hasn’t made an appearance for Team Australia since 2013, pulling out of playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, 2019 FIBA World Cup and 2021 Tokyo Olympics after initially committing to the Boomers ahead of those competitions.
He also reportedly expressed interest in playing in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, but isn’t a part of that competition either.
Granted, Simmons’ hasn’t played much basketball of late, period.
He missed the entire 2021-22 season due to a holdout, mental-health concerns and a back injury, and only played in 42 games for the Brooklyn Nets last season. The three-time All-Star has gone from being one of basketball’s bright and upcoming talents to something of an afterthought outside of the occasional offseason sizzle reel.
There is still the hope that Simmons will eventually return to Team Australia, however.
“I truly hope, for Ben, that he ends up deciding it’s something he wanted to do and be part of,” three-time Aussie Olympian and former NBA center, Luc Longley, told Uluc. “I’ve done a lot of things, but playing for the Boomers is right up there at the top of them. I wouldn’t trade one of my rings—I’ve said I would at one stage, stupidly—but, geez, I’d love to have a medal sitting alongside them.”
Simmons would be a nice addition for a solid Australian team that also features NBA talent like Josh Giddey, Patty Mills, Matisse Thybulle, Joe Ingles, Jock Landale, Josh Green, Matthew Dellavedova, Xavier Cooks, Jack White, Dante Exum and Dyson Daniels.
Source link : https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10085925-australia-hc-told-ben-simmons-hes-not-recruiting-nets-star-to-play-for-team
Author : Timothy Rapp
Publish date : 2023-08-12 20:11:58
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