Josh Giddey on Ben Simmons, Aussie Boomers, FIBA World Cup, Paris Olympics, OKC Thunder, Victor Wenbamyama, Ball Magnets App, Latest
Australian NBA star Josh Giddey has thrown his support behind Ben Simmons and says he hopes to play alongside him for the Boomers in the next two years.
Simmons got off to an indifferent start to the struggling 4-6 Brooklyn Nets after being out all last season for the Philadelphia 76ers amid a trade stalemate.
The former Pick 1 was marred by foul issues and looked rusty offensively before being sidelined with a knee problem.
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Giddey said he “spoke a bit” with Simmons early in the season, but called for patience to get the three-time All-Star back to his best form.
“He was taking care of some things with Philly and now has a fresh start in Brooklyn,” Giddey said.
“People forget Ben is an All-Star, he’s one of the best players in the league.
“It will obviously take time for him to find his bearings, he has not played for a long time in the NBA.
“I’m thrilled with what he can do and hope we can soon be part of the Boomers together and help Australia win a gold medal.”
Simmons himself over the weekend said he would represent Australia “one hundred percent” at the Olympics one day, saying it was a “dream”.
This precedes a few important years for the Boomers, including the FIBA World Cup next year, followed by the Paris Olympics in 2024.
After a slew of fourth-place finishes, Australia finally won their first Olympic medal by beating Slovenia to claim bronze at Tokyo 2020.
Giddey has confirmed he wants to help Australian stalwarts Patty Mills, Joe Ingles and Aron Baynes continue their rise on the international stage and make a real push for gold as Simmons, Dyson Daniels and Josh Green also come through the ranks .
“I’ll be there – the World Cup is coming up next year. Anything short of a gold medal won’t satisfy us,” he said.
“The country is finally at a point where we can comfortably go into these tournaments with a gold medal in mind.
“In previous years it might have been hopeful, but how realistic it was, I don’t know. There were the last Olympics and the last World Cup.
“Over time the chances of getting gold have become more and more realistic. This is the time when Australian basketball is as good as it has ever been – the level of talent we have is elite.
“I’m really excited for the World Cup and even more so for the Olympics – I think it’s every player’s dream to win a gold medal there – so I can’t wait for those tournaments. ”
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Giddey’s OKC Thunder are also turning heads this season, despite being one of many NBA teams expected to be in contention for the likely Pick 1 Victor Wembanyama.
The Thunder are currently 11th in the West with a 4-5 record, with Giddey’s backyard partner Shai Gilgeous-Alexander producing the best looking form.
The Aussie believes his side as well as the Utah Jazz (8-3) and San Antonio Spurs (5-5) show that developing teams can still bring it every time they step onto the pitch despite the obvious appeal of Wenbamyama Landing.
“It’s good to see these young teams competing. It shows that just because you’re rebuilding doesn’t mean you can’t be competitive and win games,” he said.
“As far as Victor is concerned, he is a generational talent. I don’t really know if the teams are trying to get him, but he’s going to be on the eye of a lot of general managers this year.
“I’m not really focused on that at the moment. I’m focused on winning games for the Thunder and I’m excited for our team and happy with where we are right now.
Giddey has teamed up with AFL stars Tom Mitchell, Patrick Cripps and Lachie Neale as co-owner and content creator for popular fitness and skills app Ball Magnets.
He becomes the app’s first basketball ambassador and will provide insights, challenge drills, interviews and behind-the-scenes content that will give users unfiltered access to learning the art of basketball and what it takes to play at the NBA level.
“It was something that I was really passionate about, being able to give back to younger generations and help those kids,” Giddey said.
“Hopefully I can provide an audience – not just in Australia – but around the world, for basketball.
“There are a lot of different things I worked on when I was that age to improve – ball handling, shooting drills, passing drills – there are a lot of things kids can work on.
“You see a lot of kids these days when they practice, they try to bomb all three. Everyone wants to be Steph Curry at 10.
“So hopefully those kids can see this little insight into how I train and what I do to prepare for the highest level.
“The best thing about the app is that it’s free. I wish I had this opportunity as a kid to learn from top athletes in their respective sports.
Ball Magnets is a FREE app that has been developed by some of the best AFL, AFLW and NBA players. Download now and find out what it takes to train like an AFL and NBA player and find tips to start improving your game.