76ers' Bolden pulls out of Australia World Cup campaign

Jonah Bolden adds to the list of NBA players who will not be playing for Australia after Ben Simmons decided to skip the FIBA World Cup

Agence France-Presse

Published: 12:21 PM August 19, 2019

Updated: 8:52 AM August 21, 2019

BIG LOSS. Jonah Bolden cites 'personal reasons' for his decision to pull out from the FIBA World Cup. Photo from Twitter/@JonahBolden43

SYDNEY, Australia – Australia has suffered a setback after Jonah Bolden joined Philadelphia 76ers' teammate Ben Simmons as a no-show for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China.

The power forward – who starred for the Boomers in their 81-73 win over Canada in an exhibition game on Friday, August 16, with 12 points and 5 rebounds off the bench – cited "personal reasons."

Australia coach Andrej Lemanis said he supported the decision.

"My first thought is always with the player in these situations – having to withdraw from the national team is tough for anyone," he said in a statement late Sunday.

"From a team perspective, the timing is sub-optimal, but again, we are very fortunate to have the depth of talent we have in this country available to take up this opportunity."

A replacement will be named soon, likely ahead of the Boomers' two pre-World Cup clashes against a depleted United States in Melbourne this week.

Bolden's withdrawal follows a decision by Simmons – who recently signed a five-year, $170 million contract extension with the 76ers – to also skip the World Cup, which tips off on August 31.

Other Australian NBA standouts who will not be playing include Detroit Pistons' Thon Maker (NBA commitments), Dallas Mavericks' Ryan Broekhoff (birth of his child), and Utah Jazz's Dante Exum (injury).

Despite their no-shows, Australia still boasts several NBA stars, including Jazz's Joe Ingle and San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills. – Rappler.com