Ben Simmons NBA All-Star snub raised in Australian Parliament
Last Updated: 08/02/18 1:04pm
An Australian MP has accused the NBA of harbouring an "anti-Australian conspiracy" while speaking in Parliament to complain at the fact Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons has not been picked for the All-Star game.
Tim Watts MP voiced his dismay at the fact Simmons had been overlooked for an All-Star invitation six times in recent weeks despite other players pulling out with injuries
Melbourne born Simmons registered the third-most fan votes among Eastern Conference guards after a stellar debut season, but that was not enough for coaches and NBA commissioner Adam Silver to select him.
However, there may still be hope for the 21-year-old, with a replacement needed for New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury this week.
If Simmons is selected to replace Porzingis, he will become the first Australian to play in the showpiece game and the first rookie since Blake Griffin in 2011.
In a speech that has since gone viral, Watts, a member of the Australian House of Representatives, made it clear Simmons should be next picked.
"I rise today to express my outrage at the exclusion of Australian Ben Simmons from this year's NBA All-Star game," said Watts, before listing some of Simmons' key stats from his rookie season.
He also cited the case of fellow Australian Joe Ingles of the Utah Jazz who has been left out of the All-Star three-point competition, despite currently sitting third in the league in three-point percentage.