Boomers talk: Brown on Bolden starting for the Boomers, Simmons and the World Cup

Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown has been a long-time supporter of Australian basketball, and made an interesting comment about Jonah Bolden’s potential on the international stage.

After the Sixers had clinched their 121-105 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers today, Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown was asked about reserve big man Jonah Bolden and whether he would be ready for FIBA basketball later this year, especially when it came to donning the Boomers green and gold.

Brown answered in the affirmative, and went on to to elaborate.

“I used to coach the Australian team, and one of the things we set up years ago was a national depth chart, so that you didn’t blink and get caught.

“Back in the day you had [Tony] Ronaldson and so on, David Anderson at that four spot. Then you started reaching. Started going small with Barlow or Ingles or whatever.

“I think that [Jonah] is an international four man. As I judge the history of Australian basketball, especially that really important position – I think he can be that. I think he can be a starting four internationally.”

Coach Brown also talked about Bolden’s development with the three-point shot, something that’s rapidly becoming a key weapon for big men everywhere.

After the same game, Sixers point guard Ben Simmons was asked about his thoughts on the upcoming FIBA World Cup, and when he would commit to the tournament.

“Not yet,” Simmons replied lightly. “I have no idea. I don’t even know what I am going to have for dinner.”

He did however, confirm his desire to join the Boomers, when asked about whether he wanted to play.

“Of course. I always want to represent Australia.”

Following the unforgotten disappointment in the Rio Olympics, the World Cup is a fresh start and holds high Australia’s hopes of achieving a medal once again. This is especially true, with the infusion of youthful NBA-level talent in Simmons, Bolden, Thon Maker and more.

*This report was produced in collaboration with Ben Mallis.


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It's all about Banner 18. And our Aussies in the NBA. And selfless passes. And hard cuts. And defense. Andddd this is where I stop before I get too carried away. Really, it's all about this beautiful sport we know and love as basketball.

1 Response

  1. MB


    Hope there’s not some immense backlash – particularly media driven b.s. – if he does say no to the World Cup. It’s *not* the same as the Olympics and that very very top tier of US players also usually skip it, plus, it’s been moved to be back-to-back years with the Olympics and dedicating a lot of two summers in a row is a big ask for players in that tier, which Simmons is on the verge of being. He’s perhaps a Top 25 player in the NBA and wants to be Top 5 and would understand he has significant holes in his game that are and will always stop him from sniffing the Top 10 until they are developed and it is understandable that this would be his focus for the summer. The really significant context here is that it’s not like he’s playing for a lottery team – it’s very possible, or even very likely, that next season is a real championship run for the 76ers, and that’s no small thing, and would only heighten his awareness of where his focus and health priorities should be right now, as there will definitely be more World Cups and Olympics to come, but that window that is opening for them right now might never be there again for him during his career, it’s totally unknown/unpredictable. And besides, his focus on being one of the single best players in the world asap probably would be the better thing for the Boomers in 2020. All of that and the realities of that impending $200m contract should be understood and not some b.s. about lack of loyalty to country getting rolled out. He ‘represents’ Australia well and often, and there’d be no doubt that he’ll properly represent them in 2020. Basically, he’ll be around for a long time and a player for the Boomers many times in the future, but this is a crucial year for him and this is not really a crucial tournament. Having said that, I hope he does at least play in the two Melbourne games. Real shame if he doesn’t do that, or, in saying no to the World Cup, Basketball Australia tell him he can’t play in just those games – the rationale for that would be understandable, but it would be such a huge self-own at the same time. Anyway, immense rant over. I think it’s obvious that he’s not going to play, and I don’t think that’s a ‘bad’ position for him to take. It’s really disappointing *and* completely understandable.

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