LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Ben Simmons, newly signed to a five-year, $170 million contract extension with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, confirmed Tuesday he won’t play for Australia at the World Cup.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Melbourne-born star said he wouldn’t make the trip to the FIBA championship that tips off in China on August 31.
“I wanted to let everyone know that after consulting with my representation, I’ve made the difficult decision to forego playing in the World Cup in China,” Simmons said.
“Ultimately, we decided it was best that I use the time in September to return to Philadelphia to acquaint myself with my new teammates and prepare for the upcoming NBA season.”
Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, had already indicated in comments to ESPN on Saturday that it was “doubtful” Simmons would play.
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