The Australian men’s basketball team is “ripe” to an historic Olympic medal as long as centre Andrew Bogut stays healthy, says former head coach Brett Brown.
US-born Brown, the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA, went three Olympics with the Boomers, with a best result of fourth in 1996 and 2000.
But with Bogut, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum and Cameron Bairstow all now playing in the NBA, Brown likes the chances of the Boomers claiming their long-awaited first Olympic medal in Rio next year.
“They have a great shot,” Brown told AAP on Sunday.
“We always used to get excited when we had one NBA guy and most times that NBA guy wasn’t really playing and now you look at Dellavedova, Bogut, Ingles, Dante, Patty Mills and Baynes.
“They’re contributing and playing significant roles in the NBA.”
Brown, a former coach of the year in the NBL, had stints with the Melbourne Tigers, North Melbourne Giants and Sydney Kings.
He was also an assistant for the Boomers at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and head coach in 2012 where the team, without an injured Bogut, was knocked out in the quarter-finals.
“As we all know Andrew Bogut is the difference maker, so I’m thrilled to hear Andrew has committed and I’m told is excited to be a part of it,” Brown said.
“In the past his body wouldn’t let him.
“He was one of the main reasons why I sought the job and I missed him and to see him play with that group, it’ll be great for Australia.”
Brown was in Los Angeles where the 76ers are playing the LA Lakers.