Brett Brown is no longer Ben Simmons’ coach. No, I’m not talking about the fact that Brett was fired by the Sixers in late August. Instead, news came today courtesy of Basketball Australia that the former Sixers head coach is stepping down as the coach of the Australian national team for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics. Here was the full statement from Brett:
“Whilst I have a deep and long-standing passion for Australian Basketball, I am currently unable to commit to coaching the Boomers at next year’s Olympic Games. The uncertainties around the direction of my professional future unfortunately mean that I cannot commit to the time and preparation that this job deserves and requires. The difficulties around traveling internationally with my family during the pandemic have also contributed to my decision.
It is important for me to give Basketball Australia, the Coach, and players, the necessary time for a full and thorough Olympic Games preparation in the event that the Games do proceed.
This was a difficult decision which did not come easy. My past experiences with the current Boomer players are among my most memorable as a coach. To coach the Boomers was a privilege and an honour. I will work closely with Basketball Australia in any way that I can to ensure a smooth and successful transition.”
The Tokyo Olympics are currently slated to take place July 23-August 8, 2021, if the pandemic doesn’t force a second postponement/cancellation. The concern for NBA fans also exists that the start of the 2021 season being pushed back to January or February may mean that there is no built-in break for NBA players to participate in the Olympic Games.
At one point, Australia was slated to be the Sixers hipster team to follow with Brett at the helm, Ben vowing to participate in the Olympics after sitting out the FIBA World Cup, Matisse Thybulle expressing interest in playing for the Boomers in the spring due to holding dual-citizenship after living in Australia for seven years as a child, Jonah Bolden maybe sneaking his way onto the final roster, and, of course, forever Sixer Ryan Broekhoff in the green-and-gold. While we don’t know for certain whether the Olympics will happen next year and whether NBA players will be participating, we now know that Brett Brown won’t be barking at the international referees in his Bostralian accent, and that’s definitely disappointing.
All the best to Brett and his family as he figures out the next stage of his professional career.