Bogut backs Ben’s Boomers call
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.
UNCERTAIN: Ben Simmons still to decide.