Bogut backs Ben’s Boomers call

Warwick Daily News - - LEAGUE/BASKETBALL - – Adrian War­ren

Aus­tralia’s first No.1 NBA draft pick An­drew Bogut says he’ll un­der­stand if Ben Sim­mons doesn’t com­mit to next year’s bas­ket­ball World Cup.

Philadel­phia 76ers star Sim­mons, the se­cond Aus­tralian to be taken as the top NBA draft pick, has yet to com­mit to the tour­na­ment in China next Au­gust and Septem­ber.

Bogut, now play­ing with the Syd­ney Kings, played just once at the World Cup, as he sought to pre­serve his in­jury-plagued body and em­pathised with Sim­mons’s sit­u­a­tion.

“Benny is in a tricky po­si­tion, he broke his foot his first year over there (with Philadel­phia),” Bogut said.

“There have been times in my ca­reer in the NBA where the na­tional team ob­vi­ously took a back step to get­ting my body right.

“I know he hasn’t had a break for the last two off-sea­sons, but I feel if he does miss the World Cup, I un­der­stand it.

“Peo­ple will be dis­ap­pointed, but we haven’t got an an­swer ei­ther way on that.

“I know he is very adamant on the Olympics but as far as a World Cup goes, who knows?”

One thing Sim­mons shouldn’t have to worry about the next time he dons an Aus­tralian uni­form is wash­ing it him­self, as Bogut did dur­ing his early days in the na­tional team.

Bogut de­scribed the first col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment be­tween Bas­ket­ball Aus­tralia and their na­tional teams as “very im­por­tant”.

“We think it’s a great deal for both par­ties, it holds both par­ties ac­count­able,” said Bogut, who was in­volved in the CBA process as a di­rec­tor of the Aus­tralian Bas­ket­ballers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Photo: Mitchell Leff

UN­CER­TAIN: Ben Sim­mons still to de­cide.

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