76ers' Ben Simmons Opts to Not Play for Australia at 2021 Tokyo Olympics

AP Photo/Nick Wass. FileBen Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers' star, will not represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympics this year.Basketball Australia reported Monday that Simmons had "indicated Coach Brian Goorjian that it was necessary for him to concentrate on his individual skill development, and wished the team well for the Olympics at Tokyo."In his statement, Goorjian said that Simmons had experienced a "very rough summer" during the decision.Goorjian stated that it was a difficult time for him and that he had wanted to do it, but it didn't work out. He should continue to improve his skills and be a better player for the next season of the NBA. But the Boomers will always support him. We wanted him know that he has the support of the Boomers and culture in times of need.ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that the three-time All-Star was considering whether he would participate in the Olympics. He also said that he planned to "[work] at skill development" during the offseason.Simmons was the subject of much criticism following the Sixers' loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals. Over the seven-game series, Simmons averaged 9.9 points and 8.6 assists, while he also had 6.3 rebounds. His lack of offensive play late in games was very noticeable.The 24-year old acknowledged that his performance was poor in the immediate aftermath to his team's Game 7 loss.He said to reporters, "Offensively I wasn't there that series." "There are many things that I need to improve."Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN's sports reporter, reported that Simmons' agent Rich Paul met with Sixers representatives to "start evaluating the next steps" in Simmons' Sixers career. Wojnarowski stated that Philadelphia is committed to keeping Simmons as a key piece of its franchise.Simmons will be missed by the Australian national team. He also opted out from the 2016 Summer Olympics. Dante Exum, Josh Green and Josh Giddey are just a few of the prominent names on the Olympic team. It won't be easy to win the first ever medal in men's hockey.In 2016, the Boomers reached the semifinals and were defeated by Spain in the bronze medal game.