Sixers’ Brett Brown ‘hopeful’ Ben Simmons is available for 2020 Olympics
The Australian men’s national team named Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown their own coach with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, on the horizon. The move coincides with Brown’s “hope” that star point-forward Ben Simmons, an Australian native, will be available for next summer’s Olympics across the Pacific.
Brown said he was hopeful 76ers star Ben Simmons would be a part of the Boomers’ Tokyo campaign, but wouldn’t confirm the All-Star’s commitment, despite the Melbourne native saying last week he was excited to play under Brown for Australia.
“This isn’t my stage to introduce Ben to the Boomers – I’ll leave that to him,” Brown said.
“Ben is yet to make a [definitive] statement about his involvement with the Boomers program – I believe that’s coming [but] I’ll leave that all to him, and in the event it plays out like we all hope it will, I think it’s a natural pairing. He’s been my point guard for the past few years … in the event it goes the direction we all hope and expect, I will give him the ball again.
“I’m hoping the inclusion of Ben and the surrounding cast can enable us to get over the top (win a gold medal) – I’m not taking this job for any other reason than to try to win a gold medal.”
Simmons, 23, did not compete in the Boomers’ 2019 FIBA World Cup bid in China, although he did visit the team in Australia ahead of the international basketball tournament. However, the 6-foot-10 guard wrote in a letter explaining his decision to withdraw from the World Cup last summer that he would be “honored” to represent Australia at the Olympics next year, signaling the Brown-Simmons Philly connection could take form on Team Australia soon, without any official confirmation just yet.