NBA 2022: Josh Giddey defends Ben Simmons amid Brooklyn Nets struggles, wants to play together for Boomers

Josh Giddey says he is looking forward to playing for the Boomers alongside Ben Simmons, describing his fellow Australian as “one of the best players” in the NBA.

A year and a half after igniting for the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs, Simmons has had a disappointing start to the season with the Brooklyn Nets and his much-criticized shooting ability doesn’t seem to have improved.

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Brooklyn’s win-loss record is 4-6 after 10 games, but Simmons’ form is just one of many concerns for the Nets, who parted ways with coach Steve Nash and suspended Kyrie Irving for sharing a link to an anti-Semitic film on social media. .

Giddey, who “spoke a bit” with Simmons, said the Australian-born star just needed time to get back into the NBA groove after such a long layoff.

“Obviously he was dealing with some things with Philly and then (got) a fresh start in Brooklyn,” Giddey said.

“People forget that Ben is an All-Star. He was, I mean he’s one of the best players in the league. It will obviously take him time to find his feet, he has not played for a long time in the NBA.

“I’m thrilled with what he can do and hopefully soon we can both be part of the Boomers together and help Australia win a gold medal.”

Simmons recently said he was “100%” committed to playing for the Boomers at the next opportunity and Giddey is delighted to join him at next year’s FIBA ​​World Cup and Olympics. of Paris in 2024.

“The World Cup is coming up next year and nothing less than a gold medal will satisfy us,” said Giddey.

“I think the country has finally gotten to a point where we can confidently go into these tournaments with a gold medal in mind. In previous years maybe that was the hope, but how it was realistic, I don’t know. It was certainly at the last Olympics and at the last World Cup.

“But over time the chances of getting gold became more and more realistic. I think that was when Australian basketball was as good as it ever was. 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. I can’t wait for these tournaments.

Giddey is only in his second season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he’s already arguably the most famous Aussie in the NBA.

He shot to fame after his rookie year and life has changed dramatically for the 20-year-old.

“He has his upsides, he has his downsides too,” Giddey said of his newfound fame.

“Obviously, being an NBA player, it’s a global game, so you’re naturally going to be watched by people around the world.

“When I come home, it’s great to have camps so I can give back to the younger kids and interact with them. I used to be one of those kids who loved having NBA guys, top NBL players come and talk and learn. This part is awesome.

“But I guess you can’t do the same things that normal 19, 20 year old people do these days, which is one of the things I wish I could do. Sometimes I wish I was just a ordinary kid who could go out and do normal things, but life has changed a bit since I was 16, 17.

“I wouldn’t change anything in the world. It’s my dream so I’m happy with everything and the way it’s going.

Giddey has joined AFL stars Tom Mitchell, Patrick Cripps and Lachie Neale as co-owner and content creator for popular fitness and skills app Ball Magnets.

As the app’s first basketball ambassador, Giddey will provide insights, challenge drills, interviews and behind-the-scenes content that will give users unfiltered access to learning the art of basketball. ball and what it takes to play at the NBA level.

“There are things for everyone, for all levels, whether you’re just starting basketball or you’re at a higher level,” Giddey said.

“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.

“There are a lot of different things I worked on when I was that age to improve, whether it was ball handling, shooting drills, passing drills, moving dribbling. so has a lot of things for kids to work on.

“I would have loved to have had this opportunity when I was a kid to be able to learn from athletes at the highest level of their respective sports. It’s a great opportunity for kids.

Originally published as ‘One of the best in the league’: Josh Giddey defends Ben Simmons amid Brooklyn Nets struggles

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