The FIBA World Cup is no longer a priority for Philadelphia 76ers star guard, Ben Simmons.
A couple of months ago, Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons vowed to play for Australia in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. While the city of Philadelphia applauded his dedication to the game, Simmons would soon decide that he’s got some unfinished business in America.
The Sixers are coming off of their second consecutive season where they made the playoffs. Unfortunately, the results were almost the same. Once again, the 76ers were sent packing after a second-round loss.
If you were searching for moral victories at that time, you were probably happy to see the Sixers take the eventual NBA Champions to seven games — losing by only a buzzer-beater shot, which would have made the game go into overtime had it not gone in. The ball did go in though. And once again, the Sixers were bounced out of the playoffs before making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, despite having one of the better rosters in the NBA.
Next year, the Sixers will be a different team. This time around, their playoff savior Jimmy Butler won’t be in the mix. Therefore, one of their other stars not named Joel Embiid will have to step it up. Could their former first-overall pick Ben Simmons be that guy? It sure seems like he’s working on it.
As I mentioned before, Simmons was supposed to represent Australia at the World Cup. But with a max contract offer on the table from the Sixers and a chip on his shoulder, Simmons seems to be opting out of joining Team Australia. Instead, he will remain focused on the 2019-2020 NBA season.
Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is "doubtful" to play for Australia in the FIBA World Cup this summer, his agent Rich Paul tells ESPN. Simmons is more likely now to spend his full offseason preparing only for the Sixers season — free of national team responsibilities.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 13, 2019
Lately, Simmons has been out in Los Angeles training. As he prepares for his third season with the Sixers, the young guard must do all that he can to take his game to the next level. As Philly intends on paying Simmons the big bucks, he knows he needs to expand his game.
Defensively, Simmons is becoming borderline elite. Offensively, he needs some work. Sure, he’s a high-flyer and can be unstoppable when the game is moving at a fast pace, but Simmons lack of a medium-to-long-range jump shot has really slowed the Sixers down at times.
This offseason, it sounds like Simmons has devoted a lot of his time to working on his shooting. As the newly signed Tobias Harris joined Simmons out in L.A. this past week, he revealed that Simmons’ game should be more improved in areas where he was weak in the past.
Had Simmons played in the World Cup, we could potentially see the new and improved shooting. However, that won’t be the case. Soon, we will get a reveal of what Simmons new game looks like — but it seems like it’s going to take a bit longer than initially expected.