Simmons moves closer to Olympic dream
A major hurdle for Ben Simmons' 2020 Olympic hopes has been cleared as a landmark deal provides Australia's best basketballers with a share in a multi-million dollar bounty.
As part of a new collective bargaining agreement, which will be announced today, full contract protection will be provided for players while on national team duties.
That's peace of mind for Simmons, who will be eligible for a five-year US$223 million maximum contract extension in Philadelphia next July.
Australian Basketball Players' Association chief executive Jacob Holmes said all players, including Simmons, would be covered thanks to insurance provided in the CBA and the agreements between FIBA, the NBA and its clubs.
"The players are covered by FIBA insurance and additional insurance by BA. Through agreement between FIBA and with NBA and NBA clubs, they are covered when playing for the national team in national team windows," Holmes said.
Under the agreement, which is locked in until 2022, national team players who represent both the Boomers and Opals will receive 25 per cent of the governing body's revenue for international games in Australia.
And - whether it's NBA superstar Simmons or our newest Boomer Craig Moller - players will receive royalty payments and a share of income from the sale of all Basketball Australia merchandise.
The player bonanza, part of a suite of improved conditions in the inaugural CBA, will include revenue from the two games against Team USA at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne next year - the biggest basketball event ever staged in Australia. More than 90,000 tickets have been sold to the two clashes, on August 22 and 24. With adult ticket prices starting at $89.90, players can expect to share in more than $2 million from the two tilts.
The agreement also features new standard player contracts with increased daily training and match payments, protection of player image rights, and a pregnancy and parental policy.
Boomers' star Andrew Bogut said the deal provided players with security ahead of the Aussie assault on the World Cup and 2020 Olympics.
"We have our sights firmly set on the World Cup and 2020 Olympics, where we're driven to reach the highest level of success," Bogut said.
"The CBA sets the foundations for us to pursue this level of achievement in global tournaments, supporting us as we aim to fulfil our potential."
Key Opal Jenna O'Hea said it demonstrated the importance of equal conditions.
"Having these professional conditions established for both teams means we're united together to seek the best results for each other and more widely for the sport of basketball," O'Hea said.