Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers has informed the Australian Olympic basketball team that he will not be attending the Tokyo Games.
Coach Brian Goorjian said in a statement that he and the Australian team “Understand and support his decision.”
“The best thing for everyone right now is for him to improve that skill set and make a few improvements for next season in the NBA, but Boomers are always here for him. We want him to know that in When he needs it, the culture and people here are behind and support him,” Goorjian said.
A source told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst last week that Simmons is skeptical of playing in the Olympics because he plans to focus on skill development. The Australians are medal contenders who are scheduled to begin training this week in Los Angeles and play Team USA at two exhibition games next month in Las Vegas.
Simmons, 24, had a problem with the free-throw line this season. This is reduced from 60% foulers in the regular season to 34.2% in the playoffs. He also hasn’t attempted a goal in the fourth quarter in games 4 through 7 of the 76ers’ series against the Atlanta Hawks as Philadelphia was eliminated in seven games. Simmons scored a total of 19 points in the last three games of the series.
76ers coach Doc Rivers said last week that the 76ers had plans to address Simmons’ shooting problem. which will involve doing “Right work” and do it “right way”
Last week, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Sixers executive and representative of Klutch Sports CEO Simmons Rich Paul met in Chicago at a pre-draft event to begin assessing the next steps in his 2018 Rookie of the Year career.
Teams have used pre-draft camps in Chicago to gauge the Sixers’ interest in the trade package, sources told Wojnarowski, although Philadelphia remains reluctant to split Joel Embiid and Simmons alongside without increasing returns. and eliminate all possibilities to improve the fault Simmons.