Old-school approach Lemanis’ downfall
IT’S the relationship breakdown with superstar Ben Simmons that prompted Andrej Lemanis to end his sixyear Boomers tenure, resulting in Brett Brown being handed the top job for Australia’s medal tilt at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The basketball world was shocked yesterday with the revelation Brown was finalising an agreement to return as Australian coach. The Philadelphia 76ers head mentor last coached the Boomers at the 2012 London Olympics.
Seven years on, Brown is expected to replace Lemanis in the top job after the Brisbane Bullets mentor opted to move on after falling out with a host of Australia’s rising NBA players.
News Corp understands that the soon-to-be former Boomers mentor had a strained relationship with the likes of Simmons, Jonah Bolden and Thon Maker. The main criticism was that Lemanis struggled to communicate with the younger players and his old school approach wasn’t well received.
He became tired of the constant battles with players within the team, so he decided to walk away with a year to run on his contract.
Lemanis’ relationship with Simmons and his camp was never perfect and forever a work in progress. The NBA All-Star guard was constantly at loggerheads with Basketball Australia over performance demands being rejected due to budgeting reasons.
These requests included a personal team chef instead of eating at hotels, plus extra recovery and performance staff like personal physiotherapists. These knockbacks, along with his testy association with Lemanis, played a major role in Simmons not playing at the Basketball World Cup in China.
NEW LOOK: Aussie sensation Ben Simmons is expected to suit up for Boomers duty at the Olympics, with his Philadpehia 76ers head coach Brett Brown returning to take over duties as coach for the national side.