He’ll fit in perfectly: Boomers coach raves about Simmons
IF YOU thought superstar Ben Simmons could potentially disrupt Australia's team-first culture, coach Andrej Lemanis wants you to think again.
Lemanis has fond memories of being blown away by Simmons' selflessness during the then 16-year-old' first camp with the Boomers in 2013.
"It was like, 'Wow, this guy makes everyone around him better,'" Lemanis said.
"His ability to see the game, he has a great basketball IQ and he just passes the ball so well.
"That is something that the Boomers pride ourselves on - is playing as a team and in the best interests of the group."
Lemanis sees similarities between Simmons and veteran Boomers big man Andrew Bogut.
He remembers Bogut having a huge impact on Australia's campaign at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"Andrew made such a difference with his passing and basketball IQ and I think Ben will be the same," he said.
"His versatility, his ability to see the floor and willingness to share and make plays for others.
"I know the other guys are excited about playing with Ben. I think the environment will really suit him."
Boomers legend Andrew Gaze believes the addition of Simmons will make the current Australian team up there with the finest we've seen.
"Without question this is the most talented team we've ever been able to put together," Gaze said.
"That is what you need these days, especially in order to compete at the World Cup with the depth of competition.
"Then you look at the pool we've drawn with Canada, Senegal and Lithuania.
"It will be a very tough assignment to get out of that pool but with Ben committing alongside our other NBA players it gives us every chance."
MATT LOGUE'S BEST BOOMERS TEAM:
PG: Ben Simmons
SG: Matthew Dellavedova
SF: Joe Ingles
PF: Aron Baynes
C: Andrew Bogut