Ben Simmons with Kawhi Leonard at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2019.
Ben Simmons with Kawhi Leonard at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2019.

Boomers surprised by Simmons revelation

Australia's basketball coach is in the dark over whether NBA star Ben Simmons will play at the World Cup.

Simmons' agent has reportedly said the Philadelphia 76ers superstar will skip the showpiece tournament starting in late August.

But the reports come as a surprise to Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis.

"The reality of the professional basketball environment is that being available to play for the national team is fluid for all our players," Lemanis said.

"There are many elements under consideration here.

"This is not new to us and we will continue our dialogue with Ben, and his agent Rich Paul, and see how it plays out.

"There is a genuine desire from Ben to play and we hope that circumstances unfold favourably to allow him to do so."

Simmons' agent Paul has told ESPN the All-Star guard was more likely to skip Australian duties to prioritise preparing for the Philadelphia 76ers' coming NBA season.

Paul's comments follow Simmons agreeing to a five-year $242.2m contract extension with the 76ers - the richest contract signed by an Australian athlete.

In May, Simmons said on social media he would "be a Boomer for the upcoming events, so stay tuned".

Simmons had been expected to play for the the Boomers in Perth against Canada on August 16 and 17, and then feature in two exhibition games against the United States in Melbourne on August 22 and 24.

The World Cup in China starts on August 31.

News Corp Australia


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