Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers' Ben Simmons Withdraws From Australian Olympic Squad

Ben Simmons will "focus on individual skill development" instead of participating in the Tokyo Olympics.

Simmons withdraws from Australian Olympic squad originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Ben Simmons on Monday informed Australian men's basketball team head coach Brian Goorjian that he has withdrawn from the Boomers' Olympic squad, according to a Basketball Australia press release. 

Simmons told Goorjian he "requires this upcoming period of time to focus on individual skill development and wishes the team well for the Olympics in Tokyo," per the release.

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Sixers head coach Doc Rivers indicated last week the team is optimistic about its offseason plan for Simmons, saying there are areas he can "fix quickly."

After postseason foul shooting struggles that captured league-wide attention, Simmons has already been at the center of rampant trade speculation. 

Goorijan said the following about Simmons' decision:

“I have spoken with Ben and whilst we wanted him to be a part of our team, we understand and support his decision and he has made it clear that this is something that he wants to be a part of in the future.

“It is a pretty rough time for him right now and I know it is something that he wanted to do, but the timing just hasn’t worked.

“The best thing for everybody right now is for him to go on and develop that skill package and improve in a couple of areas for his next season in the NBA, but the Boomers are always here for him. We wanted him to know that in his time of need, the culture and the guys here are behind him and support him." 

Matisse Thybulle, who lived in Australia for several years as a child, is part of the Boomers squad. Australia will announce its final team of 12 players in early July. The Tokyo Olympics will run from July 23 to Aug. 8.

Furkan Korkmaz and former Sixer Ersan Ilyasova are on Turkey's 12-man squad for the FIBA qualifying tournament.

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