Ben Simmons

Australian Boomers coach Brian Goorjian says Ben Simmons will “definitely” be welcomed back to play for the country despite pulling out of the Tokyo Olympics.

The 25-year old withdrew from representing Australia during its bronze-medal campaign as he opted to focus on skill development following the Philadelphia 76ers’ second-round NBA Playoffs exit.

But speaking on SEN SA Breakfast, Goorjian said there were no hard feelings over Simmons’ decision.

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“I think it was something he was in to. I just think it was horrible timing,” Goorjian said.

“You’ve got this situation where he’s never played for me, you’ve got all new teammates, he’s just come off what he’s come off, and now you’re going into the international forum where they’re going to play him in a way that’s really difficult and takes a lot of adjusting.

“Pick him up full court, lag off him, anytime he comes into the paint attack him, put him on the foul line — I just thought that was bad timing for him. But he was classy with the way he handled it.”

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i-amphtml-sizer">>Ben Simmons’ career with the Sixers is in limbo (Photo by Christian Petersen)
Ben Simmons’ career with the Sixers is in limbo (Photo by Christian Petersen)Source: AFP

Simmons’ relationship has since soured badly with the Sixers, having stepped away from the team citing mental health problems as he seeks a trade to another NBA franchise.

It comes despite the star guard being contracted at Philadelphia for three more seasons for a total of $140 million (AUD$196 million) from a deal signed in 2019.

Goorjian hopes Simmons finds a new home to help him flourish again and stressed that the Aussie had full support from the Boomers camp moving forward.

“I just hope right now he finds a team, finds a place where he’s comfortable and gets on with his career,” he said.

“I said to him: ‘We’re here for you. You’ve had some situations at Philly with your teammates, with the coach, with the organisation. You come here; we’ll welcome you with open arms. I think you’re going to love the environment, it’s your call.’”

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Simmons’ next opportunity to play for the Boomers will be at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

Source : https://www.foxsports.com.au/basketball/basketball-2021-ben-simmons-return-to-australian-boomers-coach-brian-goorjian-withdrawal-from-tokyo-olympics-trade-from-philadelphia-76ers-nba-news-updates/news-story/10aac1bc512b18ee1ea2d59a2b352f96

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