Ben Simmons’ withdrawal from the exhibition games left Australian basketball fans disappointed
Australian basketball fans were left disappointed after their star Ben Simmons withdrew himself from the Boomers’ 2-exhibition games against Team USA in Melbourne.
Ben Simmons, who already had pulled out from the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, will now be missing the two games at Marvel Stadium as well, which were expected to draw crowds of over 50,000 for each game.
Although, the Aussie star said that he would try to repay them by winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and then they would all be smiling.
“People can be mad at me or whatever the case but my goal is to bring an Olympic medal to Australia, so if you guys are mad at me now then that’s fine but hopefully when I’m holding that medal up with my teammates, then you are smiling.” He said.
With this latest decision, Ben Simmons joined the list of stars, namely Damian Lillard, Tobias Harris, Bradley Beal, James Harden, CJ McCollum, Kevin Love and Eric Gordon, who were already pulled out after initially being named in Team USA’s provisional squad.
Even with several of their stars missing, the United States is still the bookmaker’s favorites to land the FIBA World Cup trophy.
Coach Greg Popovich still has plenty of talent at this disposal, with the likes of Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker, and Khris Middleton part of the squad.
According to Bet365, the five-time champion (USA) is 3/10 to win the FIBA World Cup trophy this year. A click on these FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Predictions and Betting Odds will let you know more about the favorite teams and their chances to win this year.The United States team will play their group matches against the Czech Republic, Turkey, and Japan, and it is expected that they will prevail against them all.
Serbia and Spain are also rated high by the bookmakers, with Serbia having reached the 2014 World Cup final and Spain having won the 2006 World Cup trophy.
According to William Hill, Serbia is a 7/2 shot to be winners, while Spain has been given the odds 17/1 by the bookmaker Betfair.
According to Simmons, the major reason for his full withdrawal was that he didn’t want to force changes to the Boomers’ style of play with his inclusion. He said:
“It was a mutual decision between me, the team and the players and coaches. We feel like it’s in the team’s best interests in the long run that I don’t compete in these games for the fact this team needs to get its chemistry together and I don’t want to get in the way of that.”
The timing of the World Cup was also a major factor why so many star players withdrew themselves, with the Final taking place just 2 weeks before the beginning of training camps.
The Boomers will have to play 4 home matches before heading to China for their group games which will begin on September 1 this year.
Their group comprises of Canada, Senegal, and Lithuania, and the Boomers will have to finish in the Top 2 for qualifying to the next round.