Infotainment Factory: Bogut: Boomers facing Simmons dilemma

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Monday, 22 July 2019

Bogut: Boomers facing Simmons dilemma


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In many ways, it's a nice problem to have.

Australian guard Ben Simmons, fresh off signing the richest deal in Australian sports history, announced last week that he would not play in the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China, citing his full commitment to another championship tilt with his Philadelphia 76ers.

Boomers fans who were disappointed at the prospect of not seeing Simmons in action in Australian colours, had their collective mood lifted when he took to Twitter to announce that whilst he would not play in the World Cup, he would turn out for Australia's exhibition matches against Team USA and Canada in Perth and Melbourne.

His desire to play for the Boomers at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has also never wavered.

https://twitter.com/BenSimmons25/status/1151262755753566208

With that situation now established, how does Australia's head coach Andrej Lemanis balance playing Simmons in a set of exhibition and warm up games, with the knowledge that he won't actually be there in China when the World Cup proper tips off on August 31?

It's a question that Sydney Kings, Golden State Warriors and Boomers centre Andrew Bogut doesn't have an answer to.

"It's going to be a really tough one for the coaches to figure out," Bogut said.

"Whether he plays big minutes in these lead-up games or he just comes along and plays a bit more restricted."

Clearly, while it is important for Australian basketball to capitalise on a recent seismic growth period for the sport (substantially thanks to Simmons), it's also important for Lemanis and the Boomers squad to use these games against high quality opposition as a means of establishing combinations and rotations that they will take into the World Cup.

Australia has never won a men's medal at a major championship, and with a weakened Team USA roster, there seems no better time than now to make a significant tilt at changing that.

Boomers

Bogut says that establishing this groove is a major focus for the group.

"(It's good to have these games) so we can at least get our flow going for the most important games at the World Cup," Bogut said.

With the first exhibition game against Canada on August 16, regardless of the role Simmons plays, the opportunity to see Australia's first ever NBA All-Star in the Green and Gold will no doubt continue to move the basketball needle down under.

In many ways, it's a nice problem to have.

Australian guard Ben Simmons, fresh off signing the richest deal in Australian sports history, announced last week that he would not play in the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China, citing his full commitment to another championship tilt with his Philadelphia 76ers.

Boomers fans who were disappointed at the prospect of not seeing Simmons in action in Australian colours, had their collective mood lifted when he took to Twitter to announce that whilst he would not play in the World Cup, he would turn out for Australia's exhibition matches against Team USA and Canada in Perth and Melbourne.

His desire to play for the Boomers at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has also never wavered.

https://twitter.com/BenSimmons25/status/1151262755753566208

With that situation now established, how does Australia's head coach Andrej Lemanis balance playing Simmons in a set of exhibition and warm up games, with the knowledge that he won't actually be there in China when the World Cup proper tips off on August 31?

It's a question that Sydney Kings, Golden State Warriors and Boomers centre Andrew Bogut doesn't have an answer to.

"It's going to be a really tough one for the coaches to figure out," Bogut said.

"Whether he plays big minutes in these lead-up games or he just comes along and plays a bit more restricted."

Clearly, while it is important for Australian basketball to capitalise on a recent seismic growth period for the sport (substantially thanks to Simmons), it's also important for Lemanis and the Boomers squad to use these games against high quality opposition as a means of establishing combinations and rotations that they will take into the World Cup.

Australia has never won a men's medal at a major championship, and with a weakened Team USA roster, there seems no better time than now to make a significant tilt at changing that.

Boomers

Bogut says that establishing this groove is a major focus for the group.

"(It's good to have these games) so we can at least get our flow going for the most important games at the World Cup," Bogut said.

With the first exhibition game against Canada on August 16, regardless of the role Simmons plays, the opportunity to see Australia's first ever NBA All-Star in the Green and Gold will no doubt continue to move the basketball needle down under.

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