Ben Simmons is of Australian descent, meaning he is qualified to wear the Australian national colors. Sadly since he broke out in the NBA he has yet to do so. Hence, that makes two basketball teams technically sore at the 25-year-old cager.

Such was shared by Australian sports pundit Mark Brandon of Screen Sports Media when he appeared on the Sports For All PH podcast last Oct. 30. He admitted that he is disappointed at how the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year has made decisions in his pro basketball career so far.

“I personally lost respect on him when he keeps pulling out of the Australian [national] team. So, we came fourth in the World Cup, which I think was in 2019. I don’t know if America sent their strongest team. He was in great form and I believe we could have won it,” Brandon quipped.

Aside from the World Cup, Simmons also shunned the chance to play for the Australian national team in the recent Tokyo Olympics. In the eyes of Brandon, Simmons could have made a big difference. He also stressed that it has always been a practice in Australia that money always comes in second.

“He [also] pulled out of the Olympics. The problem with that is it was his team because of injuries compared to money. And as Australians, we always root for the underdogs in whatever we do. Money to us is always second. But I totally get it. It’s his job, his livelihood," he explained.

Hence, Simmons has left a lot of unhappy people these days. While he is talented, it remains that the longer he holds out, the worse his basketball career gets.

At the moment, he is sitting out due to a back injury and alleged mental health problems. The back of the 6-foot-11 cager appears to be getting better and most are giving him some space on his claim that he is mentally not prepared to play ball.

Brandon added that while he understands the things that went down in the last NBA playoffs, Simmons needs to approach it differently.

“I understand, don’t get me wrong that his coach and teammate did not back him after. But surely there is going to be some communication when they say ‘heat of the moment.’ He just come out right now and play as tough as nails and play ball, highlight reel dunks,” the Screen Sports Media partner said.

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers
Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers Getty Images | Kevin C. Cox

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