Simmons won't play for Boomers at World Cup

ByOlgun Uluc, ESPN Basketball Insider ESPN logo
Friday, June 30, 2023

Ben Simmons will not play for the Australian Boomers at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets came to a joint decision this week, with the 26-year-old continuing his rehabilitation from a back injury that cut his 2022-23 NBA season short.

The Nets guard hasn't played for the Australian senior national team since the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship. Boomers head coach, Brian Goorjian, said in May that there was optimism Simmons would join the Boomers for their pre-World Cup training camp in August. Simmons wasn't added to Australia's extended 18-man squad.

Simmons had given commitments to play for the Boomers at both the 2019 World Cup and 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but was a late withdrawal from both campaigns.

There's an expectation that Simmons will eye the 2024 Paris Olympics for his first action with the Boomers in what will be more than a decade without a game for the program.

Nets Daily was first to report on this decision.

Simmons averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game last NBA season, across 42 games. He was shut down for the final 23 games of the most recent NBA season due to a lingering back complaint, and has been rehabbing in Miami over the off-season.

The Boomers were drawn into Group E for the World Cup, alongside Germany, Finland, and Japan. The Boomers will play their first two group phases in Okinawa, Japan, before traveling to Manila, Philippines for the finals games, should they qualify.

The Boomers are coming off a bronze medal finish at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

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