Matisse Thybulle "going to play for Australia", according to Ben Simmons

The campaign for Matisse Thybulle to join the Australian Boomers continues to grow. During the NBA's All-Star Game press conference, Ben Simmons expressed his confidence in teammate Thybulle suiting up in the green and gold.

"He's going to play for Australia," Simmons, who is making his second All-Star appearance this year in Chicago, told assembled media on Sunday. "He's great."

Thybulle has declined to voice his commitment earlier, confirming that his focus is on the Philadelphia 76ers' season right now. “I think the opportunity to play in the Olympics itself is an honour. To represent something bigger than yourself, like your country and whatever that country might stand for is something that is a huge opportunity.

“For myself, I can’t say I’ve put too much thought into which one I’d like to go to, which [opportunity] I’d like to take, but I think this season is going to be a good opportunity to showcase myself and figure out what opportunities I have at the end of the season.”

Simmons' comment gives optimism that Thybulle's defensive intensity could be seen on international competition in the future, potentially alongside a potent back court combo alongside Simmons himself.

"Defensively he is much better than what I thought he was going to be," Simmons said. "He kind of gives us that push also. It's great to have him on the court."