‘Erase Those Memories’: Ben Simmons urged not to quit the baby boomer Olympics tilt | NBA
Andrew Gaze recommended Boomers therapy for Ben Simmons as doubts grow over the maligned NBA All-Star’s desire to join the team’s campaign for a first Olympic medal.
Simmons’ run for an NBA title with the seeded Philadelphia 76ers ended inglorious in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
His reluctance to take open shots and attack the basket, resulting from historically mediocre free throw shots, angered star teammate Joel Embiid as coach Doc Rivers questioned whether the Sixers could win an NBA title with the Australian at the post of leader.
If necessary, Game 7 of the NBA Finals Series will take place the day before the Olympics Opening Ceremony on July 23. Time pressure was expected to be the biggest hurdle in getting Simmons and fellow 76ers and Boomers Matisse Thybulle to Tokyo.
But, a month later, there are no more Australians to play in the NBA after the fall of Utah Jazz, seeded Joe Ingles, in the semifinals of the Western Conference.
Instead, the barrier for Simmons now appears to be internal, with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reporting that the 24-year-old is bending over to spend the NBA off season “working on skills development.”
Simmons retired late from the Baby Boomers campaign for the 2019 World Cup and has not played for Australia since being overlooked as an 18-year-old for their Cup campaign. world 2014.
The Australian men finished fourth in Rio and at the World Cup in China, missing out on medals under equally cruel circumstances that have left key members like Patty Mills determined to make amends in Tokyo.
Coach Brian Goorjian was confident that Simmons would return to help this quest and it is understood Mills had been in regular contact with Melbourne-born Simmons and Sydney-raised Thybulle to familiarize them with the famous baby culture. -boomers.
Simmons’ tame playoff exit may have dashed that optimism, but the five-time Olympian Gaze urged him to consider the benefits of a Tokyo campaign.
“We can all speculate and make assumptions, but based on my experiences, I would strongly encourage him to play,” Gaze said. “You want to erase those memories as quickly as possible, grow and learn and the Australian team has an incredibly welcoming and supportive culture and success with individual development.
“It’s a small, small period of time – we’re talking three to four weeks – but it can be very influential. I don’t think any of us would have a full understanding of the challenges we would face on various fronts.
“But I have a really good appreciation for how beneficial an Olympic experience can be. It’s a very healthy environment to get involved in; it won’t be the ultimate solution, but it can be very useful.
Even if Simmons’ offensive struggles continued to plague him, his sheer playability and defensive attributes would still improve a baby boomer team with shooting options.
Variations in Fiba’s rules from the NBA also mean that a “hack-a-Ben” strategy is unlikely to be used, with intentional fouls on a player deemed unsportsmanlike and attributing possession to the. attacking team after the free throws are complete.
The 19 Boomers squad, which includes NBA veterans Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes, as well as emerging talents Josh Giddey and Josh Green, arrive in Los Angeles for a camp that begins June 25.
A final squad of 12 will then be selected ahead of a pre-Olympic camp in Las Vegas – with matches against the United States, Nigeria and Argentina – July 6-19 before their first group game in Tokyo against Nigeria. July 25.
Gaze hopes Simmons won’t rush to make a decision and be forced to do so before camp in Las Vegas so the “dust can settle.”
19 BOOMER OLYMPIC TEAM: Aron Baynes, Ryan Broekhoff, Xavier Cooks, Mitchell Creek, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Josh Giddey, Chris Goulding, Josh Green, Isaac Humphries, Joe Ingles, Nick Kay, Jock Landale, Patty Mills, Brock Motum, Duop Reath, Ben Simmons , Nathan Sobey, Matisse Thybulle.