With the inclusion of Ben Simmons, the number of athletes who have declared their intention to represent their own countries at the Olympics is expanding.

Now that he’s healthy and back to his best, Simmons said he’s ready to compete on a global stage and take on foreign adversaries, even the USA. In an interview with Nine’s Sports Sunday, he said, “I’ve said it prior, this Olympics, I’m 100 per cent committed.”

Simmons: I’m locked in

Now, in his sixth season of playing professional basketball, the star guard has declared his wish to play for his home country, Australia. Should he join the squad, it would be Simmons’ first Olympic appearance.

“Knock on wood everything goes well with health, but I’m locked in. This will be the first one for me,” Simmons said.

“Let’s go and play, it is what it is. I’m a competitor too, this is what we do. We’re ready to go out and play. I’ve got my dream team too, you know,” he added.

Simmons’ preseason

Simmons performed admirably during the preseason games and showed that his back and knee
injuries, which kept him out of the league for the rest of last season, had completely healed. Over the course of three games, he logged an average of 6.6 points, five rebounds, and 6.3 assists in just 22 minutes per game.

Via Sports Illustrated: “I felt good. There were spurts where we looked great. There are spurts where we don’t know each other. That’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to figure each other out,” Ben said after the preseason game against the 76ers. “Obviously, I got to take care of the ball, I’d rather get those turnovers out now than later.”

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What lies ahead for the USA?

Team USA, the world’s most decorated team, had great hopes going into the Olympics, and their team was heavily favored in winning the FIBA Cup last September. But those hopes were dashed following a deflating loss to Germany and a miserable fourth-place showing at the World Cup.

As a result, fans began to lose hope, and the team’s morale took a dive.

NBA legend Toni Kukoc even stated his doubts about their chances of winning the gold medal in the Olympics, even with LeBron James on board. He believes that even if Team USA fields their best players, the results would still be the same since the rest of the world has just narrowed the talent gap between them and America.

“Everybody plays basketball today. Germany invests a lot, it has come a long way. Gone are the days when we, the Russians, and the Americans ruled the world. That time has passed. If the Americans want to take the throne, they will have to bring the strongest forces. Even with the strongest forces, I don’t believe it will be a walk for them,” Kukoc said, as per The Basketball Network.

With Ben Simmons deciding to play for Team Australia, Victor Wembanyama wanting to play for Team France, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and other NBA stars on Team USA, the competition at the Olympics promises to be exciting.

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