Tre Bien: Simmons hints when Aussie hoops’ long wait will end
In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Simmons declared Paris remains in his sights despite having never donned the green and gold at a major tournament. Boomers coach Brian Goorjian had “opened the door” for the NBA star to play at this year’s World Cup.However, Simmons opted to put his recovery from a back injury first in a bid to prepare for the upcoming NBA season with the Brooklyn Nets. The three-time All-Star is fit and says he hasn’t felt this physically and mentally strong in two seasons. Do you think Ben Simmons will play for the Boomers at the Olympics?Asked if he is still thinking about playing for Australia at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Simmons said: “Yeah, 100 per cent. And that’s what I want to do next year.”Simmons was asked if he had told Basketball Australia officials about his Olympic hopes. He provided an interesting response, saying he’ll don his country’s colours when he is ready. “I’ll let you break the news,” he said.“I want to play. That’s the other thing. I get messages from Australian people like, ‘Yo, you should be playing right now. [Houston Rockets center] Jock Landale is playing right now.’ To me, I’m going to play when I’m ready. There hasn’t really been a time where I’ve been prepared and ready physically. But next year, my goal is to be on the Olympic team.”Simmons’ desire to play for Australia in Paris comes as Boomers coach Brian Goorjian declared he won’t ever “recruit” the star guard to represent his country.Goorjian stressed the Nets star has to want to play for the Boomers. For now, Simmons is locked in on returning to his best with the Brooklyn Nets.“I’m excited because I know I can do it,” he said.“So, that’s the exciting part for me. [Last Thursday] night, I’m like, ‘Yo, let’s get back in the gym.’ I’m excited. I get to do something I love to do at a high level. Regardless of what people say, I’m a three-time All-Star, All-NBA player, [All-] Defensive Team. I’ve done things. I’m not somebody that hasn’t done anything.“But at the end of the day, that’s what you want to do. You want to go out and compete against the best in the world and be one of the best.”
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