Ben Simmons' telling act after Boomers win bronze without him

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·Sports Editor
·3-min read
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  • Philadelphia 76ers
    Philadelphia 76ers
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Ben Simmons
    Ben Simmons
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Patty Mills
    Patty Mills
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
Ben Simmons, pictured here in action in the NBA.
Ben Simmons watched on as the Boomers won bronze without him. Image: Getty

Ben Simmons has sent a classy message to his Boomers teammates after his decision to skip the Tokyo Olympics ended up costing him a bronze medal.

Simmons was widely criticised after withdrawing from the Boomers squad ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

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He watched on as Patty Mills led Australia to their first medal in men's basketball in Olympics history.

But the NBA star clearly isn't salty, paying a classy tribute to Mills and the Boomers on social media.

Simmons posted a photo of Mills, Joe Ingles and the squad on Instagram on Sunday.

“Amazing stuff fellas,” Simmons wrote.

“Congrats to the whole Australian Boomers squad.”

Mills scored 42 points to drag Australia past Slovenia in the bronze medal match, Australia winning 107-93 on Saturday.

The Australian flagbearer, in his fourth Games campaign, notched his highest Olympic total and added nine assists to ensure the Boomers prevailed after losing four previous play-offs for third.

Australia led by 14 points early in the final quarter, before NBA All-Star Luka Doncic (22 points, eight rebounds, seven assists) got Slovenia to within three points.

But Ingles, Dante Exum and Matisse Thybulle all stepped up to slow the Slovenian star and helped create Australian men's basketball history.

"We've been waiting for this moment for a long time; it's taken a lot of ups, a lot of downs for us to get over the hump," Mills told the Seven Network.

"It's our culture, Aussie spirit, the boys being able to hang together. Now we've made it over the hill, this is the standard now for Australian basketball for men.

"I don't know whether to cry, laugh, smile - a lot of emotions.

"It's time to bring an Olympic medal home ... so I can hang it up at Mum and Dad's house."

Patty Mills, pictured here celebrating after Australia's win over Slovenia in the bronze medal match.
Patty Mills celebrates after Australia's win over Slovenia in the bronze medal match. (Photo by Pan Yulong/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Ben Simmons heading to Portland?

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers have been engaged in trade talks for Simmons, with the Portland Trail Blazers currently the favourites to land the Australian star.

The Blazers are said to be top of the queue ahead of the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors, followed by the Miami Heat.

The 76ers have reportedly been seeking an All-Star-calibre player in return and the Blazers prove a good fit in that regard.

Portland have reportedly turned down multiple offers for CJ McCollum that would have netted Portland at least a top-15 pick, but dealing him for Simmons would make for a star-studded backcourt with Damien Lillard.

There has also been speculation a Simmons-for-Lillard deal could be in the cards down the road, should the 76ers not deal Simmons this offseason and the Blazers aren't a bigger threat next season.

While Simmons struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball in the playoffs, he was a finalist for NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Portland were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, and new coach Chauncey Billups and general manager Neil Olshey are trying to keep Lillard from demanding out of town.

with AAP

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