Boomers face uncertainty following Brown exit

Brett Brown’s resignation as Boomers coach could prompt high-profile player departures from the Australian men’s team, including superstar Ben Simmons.

Uncertainty hangs over next year’s Tokyo Olympic campaign with the NBA looking to delay its 2020-2021 season.

The Boomers’ preparations for the revised Olympics have hit a hurdle after Brown informed Basketball Australia several weeks ago that he no longer had the time to perform his duties due to a change in personal circumstances.

The veteran mentor was sacked as Philadelphia 76ers head coach in late August following seven seasons and is searching for other NBA coaching opportunities.

Basketball Australia has started the process to replace Brown and will interview the likes of Will Weaver, Brian Goorjian, Rob Beveridge, Dean Vickerman and Trevor Gleeson.

Weaver has a lot of support given his long tenure as a Boomers assistant coach, but he could be ruled out if he secures an NBA job after being linked to the New Orleans Pelicans.

It’s understood former coach Andrej Lemanis won’t put his hand up to return to the Australian job he left after last year’s World Cup in China.

Basketball Australia officials must juggle the upcoming NBA season being delayed until January, which could potentially clash with next year’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver revealed on a panel discussion on CNN that the ideal time to start the new season was in early 2021.

Brett Brown has resigned as coach of the Boomers. Picture: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty ImagesSource:News Corp Australia

A January start would mean the 2020-2021 NBA season, playoffs included, wouldn’t finish until at least August or potentially September.

If the Tokyo Olympics receive the green light, the event will run from July 23 to August 8.

Silver stressed no dates had been finalised, but he acknowledged that a rescheduled season could prevent star US and international men’s players from competing in next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

“There are a lot of great US players, and we may be up against a scenario where the top 15 NBA players aren’t competing in the Olympics but other great American players are competing,” Silver said.

Basketball Australia officials have previously said they would monitor the NBA’s decision-making around a season delay.

However, any control could be taken out of their hands if the NBA decides to push back the season, meaning clubs won’t let their players leave to play in the Olympics.

It’s a reality Basketball Australia officials are privately bracing themselves for, which would mean the Boomers could be without their NBA stars for next year’s Olympic campaign in Tokyo as they aim to win an elusive men’s medal.

History has shown that NBA clubs win out in the battle between international basketball and big-money contracts.

“The NBA clubs won’t allow players to play at the Olympics if the season is delayed,” one Boomers source said.

“But the NBA has changed with so many international players, so it will be interesting to see how the NBA handles the situation.”

Will the likes of Patty Mills play for the Boomers at next year’s Tokyo Olympics if the NBA season is delayed? That is the question hanging over Basketball Australia officials. Picture: Di Yin/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Boomers big man Andrew Bogut took to Twitter when news broke about Brown stepping down as Australian coach.

“There is a lot more to this (and the last few years Boomers wise) than people will ever know,” Bogut said.

The Boomers’ tight-knit and selfless culture has been lauded, but there have been cracks behind the scenes.

Lemanis had issues with the likes of Simmons and Jonah Bolden, who didn’t like his coaching style and, at times, refused to play under him.

There has also been significant player tension with Basketball Australia over key issues like the budget for professional recovery and preparation.

However, these issues had little to no baring on Brown’s decision to step aside from the Boomers role as he looks to secure his NBA coaching future in uncertain times.

Basketball Australia high performance general manager Jan Stirling said officials would undergo a thorough search for a new Boomers coach.

“Basketball Australia is currently confirming the recruitment process, including the criteria, for the now vacant Australian Boomers head coach role for the Tokyo Olympics,” Stirling said.

“To lead the world-ranked number three Boomers into a marquee event like the Tokyo Olympics is a highly desirable coaching opportunity, and it’s important we appoint the right person, not only for Australian basketball but our athletes.

“We will enter this process with an open mind and will take as long as needed to ensure we recruit the most suited candidate for this Olympic campaign.”

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