By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Ben Simmons becoming a late addition to the Australia squad in preparations for the 2023 FIBA World Cup has been officially rejected by Basketball Australia.
Simmons, 26, will not play in the World Cup, announced Basketball Australia on the latest status update.
The Brooklyn Net will instead focus on recovery and getting ready for the 2023-24 NBA season. Strengthening the Boomers is a potential future option.
Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets have advised Basketball Australia that Ben is unavailable for the World Cup.
Ben needs more time to focus on his rehab and he looks forward to being part of the Boomers in the future.
We wish Ben all the best in his recovery. pic.twitter.com/XJ41uqA9Ya
— Basketball Australia (@BasketballAus) June 29, 2023
Besides the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship and the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship, Simmons has missed out on international action over the next ten years. For various reasons, he failed to make the final roster in the last two editions of both the Olympic Games and the World Cup. The latest development makes it five missed tournaments in a row in his injury-plagued career.
Playing this summer’s World Cup would be a huge boost, following limited participation in recent NBA campaigns. Finally moving away from the Philadelphia 76ers and well-documented exchanging jabs, joining the Nets resulted in 42 appearances, including 33 starts in the 2022-23 Regular Season. He averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.6 blocks per contest. Back and knee issues prevented more action and eventually from suiting up for Australia.
Heading to the approaching World Cup, the Boomers will take on Finland, Germany, and Japan in Okinawa Arena, hoping to move through Group E of the preliminary round to Group K, and from there seek a berth in the Quarterfinals.
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