Boomers big man Jock Landale has defended Ben Simmons as we await the NBA star’s Tokyo Olympic commitment, declaring: “ Some guys just don’t want to play for their country, and they shouldn’t be shunned for that.”
Australian fans and legends alike have expressed frustration following reports Simmons is unlikely to play at Tokyo to focus on skill development after a disappointing NBA playoffs campaign with Philadelphia.
Boomers officials are yet to hear from the Melbourne-born guard’s management with Australian squad members arriving this week for the team’s drop-in camp in Los Angeles.
Ben Simmons is copping plenty of criticism for potentially pulling out of the Boomers’ Olympic campaign, but Australian teammate Jock Landale has leapt to the defence. Photo: Kelly Defina/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Simmons potentially pulling out of the Olympics has upset people, but Landale understands if the 76ers star opts to put his NBA career before his country.
“If he doesn’t what to play, he doesn’t play and all power to him,” Landale said.
“Some guys just don’t want to play for their country, and they shouldn’t be shunned for that.
“But I have no idea (if he is playing at the Olympics). He hasn’t even said no yet so I don’t really have any thoughts.”
If Simmons opts not to play for the Boomers, Landale is still confident in Australia’s chances of securing a maiden medal.
“Regardless of what happens, we are going to put a hell of a squad together and we’ll be ready to go out there and put our best foot forward,” he said.
“I’m super excited for that.”
Landale is in the Boomers’ 19-man squad for Tokyo and will travel to Los Angeles for the team’s drop-in camp after the grand final series against Perth.
He is expected to make Australia’s final 12-man team for the Olympics.
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