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The Brooklyn Nets star guard Ben Simmons is aware of the criticism from Australian fans regarding his absence from the national team.

However, he also recognizes that these same fans understand the crucial role he plays in the team’s pursuit of a medal in international competitions.

“People are like, ‘Well you’re not Australian if you don’t want to play’, and all this stuff that comes with it. And I just laugh. I’m like, Alright. And I want my team to succeed all the time. So it’s just interesting seeing that go on and then when we get knocked out, people are like, ‘Okay, we do need him’,” Simmons said.

“I’m like, Yeah, it would be nice to have me there because I’m one of the best players that’s come out of the country. So I love that respect, but at the same time it’s [about the] Olympics for me. That’s what I think about.

“Let’s get through the season healthy and play in the Olympics. That’s just going to be insane for me. I’m going for a medal, but just having that experience and to be able to represent my country, there’s probably nothing better than that.”