Why the Boomers shouldn’t pick Simmons for World Cup

November 25, 2022 BY

Not a slam dunk: Ben Simmons may not be a good fit for the Australian national team after a few challenging years in the NBA, says one pundit. Photo: USA TODAY SPORTS/ SIPA USA

FORMER NBL star Corey Williams doesn’t think the Boomers should select Ben Simmons for the 2023 FIBA World Cup next August.

While Simmons is perhaps the most talented basketballer Australia has ever produced, he’s yet to suit up for the national team after opting not to join the Boomers for the Tokyo Olympics.

With many believing Australia are in the midst of a golden basketball generation, the addition of Simmons could be the spark that helps the side win gold at a World Cup or Olympics after they claimed bronze in Tokyo.

While Simmons at his best is an NBA All-Star, Williams doesn’t think Australia should select him as he battles form issues with Brooklyn after missing the entirety of last NBA season.

“I don’t think he’ll play, I don’t think he’ll be a Boomer at the next World Cup,” Williams said on SEN’s The Run Home.

“Look, this team is stacked, and I also feel he hasn’t played enough in the last year to year and a half.

“He shouldn’t jump into it, that’s too much pressure, especially after Australia got a medal [in Tokyo].”

Williams thinks the Boomers must keep the cohesion and consistency that saw them medal in Tokyo while adding that Simmons may not be ready to jump into a situation where the pressure will be on him to make the team better.

“Now it’s like, we need to keep the consistency,” Williams said.

“So, if you’re jumping on that team now when you’re not healthy yet and there’s still a lot of things you need to overcome in terms of your professional career in the NBA.

“Mentally to jump into a whole other situation that’s going to add to the pressure you’d be under, not ready yet or not time yet.”

Williams said Australia and Simmons instead should focus on getting the former number one draft pick ready for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“I think he would want to play when it’s time for the biggest stage in the world which is the Olympics, Paris, it’s way bigger than the World Cup,” Williams said.

“If I’m going to try and play for the Boomers, me if I was him… I’d try to go when it’s time for Paris in 2024.”

The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup kicks off next year on November 25, with Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines hosting.