Victorian MP Tim Watts has gone viral over a rant in Parliament about Ben Simmons missing out on the NBA All-Star game, but there was a strong message behind it all.
Watts, the member for Gellibrand who is a well-known Western Bulldogs supporter, on Sunday shared a video of the short speech.
"I rise today to express my outrage at the exclusion of Australian Ben Simmons from this year's NBA All-Star game," he began.
After listing off the 21-year-old's impressive statistics, Watts burned Miami's Goran Dragic -- the man selected for the last open slot after Kevin Love was injured.
"Frankly no one with two brain cells to rub together would want Goran Dragic on their team over Ben," he said.
In a funny twist, Dragic's rivalry with Australia goes back to 2014 when he accused the Boomers of fixing a loss at the World Cup to set up an easier run in the knockout stage.
"Basketball is a beautiful sport. There is no room for fixing the game like today Australia vs. Angola!! FIBA should do something about that!" he wrote on Twitter.
Watts continued his speech by also sharing his disappointment at the Utah Jazz's Australian forward Joe Ingles missing out on the three-point shootout.
"(It) makes me think there is some kind of anti-Australian conspiracy going on in the league head office," Watts said.
"If you thought we were angry about The Simpsons v Australia TV episode, you ain't seen nothing yet, Yanks."
The point of Watts' rant was to bring attention to the make-up of the Australians playing in the NBA, in particular the South Sudanese refugees Mangok Mathiang and Thon Maker.
"A perfect reflection of modern Australia -- an immigrant nation and the most successful multicultural nation on earth," he wrote on Facebook.
"After a summer when many ridiculous things have been said about African-Australians by our politicians, Thon and Mangok are shining examples of the potential of every member of this community."
The South Sudanese community bore the brunt of negative headlines throughout January as columnists and other politicians caused panic over youth crime.
Watts' speech followed Australian-based athletes from the community, such as Majak Daw, Aliir Aliir, Majok Deng, Majok Majok and Thomas Deng, coming together for a statement preaching understanding over the issues:
But basketball fans couldn't stop laughing about Watts' passion over Simmons, and the reactions were all over the shop:
Simmons' dream of making the All-Star game as a rookie isn't over just yet.
.With everything that’s been making headlines of late, i think it’s appropriate that we voice our opinion on the current issues. Please have a read @aliir_mayom @ChangkuothJiath @AkecMakur @Tonyolango @MajokDeng13 @majok55majok @thomasdeng24 @gach_nyuon pic.twitter.com/oU2pI4nAI4— Majak Daw (@majakdaw) February 1, 2018
"jeez mate, I'm fair dinkum hacked off our mate Simmo is being ignored, who's in charge over there? I bet its a Pom" https://t.co/4uWnbcAbfa— BristolDragon (@IainMiles) February 7, 2018
Im officially behind the conspiracy theory that Australians arent being treated fairly in the NBA. https://t.co/OLdKg1DtA3— OG Anunobees are dying at an alarming rate (@Dan_Lamma) February 7, 2018
America take notes on the real issues that should be at hand! https://t.co/nVfRzFNrb1— Nate Louis (@Blackboi_Flyyy) February 7, 2018
Excuse me while I ROTFL.— Tim French (@Tim0Supremo) February 8, 2018
There's an anti-Australian conspiracy going on in the NBA! https://t.co/Y7B8uG0Kej
New York Knicks phenom Kristaps Porzingis suffered a season-ending ACL tear on Wednesday, ruling him out of the February 18 event.
NBA commissioner David Silver will announce his replacement in the coming days, with Simmons in competition against the likes of Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker.