Charles Barkely questions why Ben Simmons didn't play at the Olympics

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The Olympics have been and gone now, but one thing that always remains the same is Charles Barkley's need to give his opinion.

The Inside The NBA analyst on TNT always has plenty to say on all things basketball and on this occasion, the 2016 number one overall draft pick is the centre of his attention.

Barkley has heavily criticised the Team USA side that went on to win gold in Rio this summer, believing that the roster was not balanced at all.

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The U.S. men's basketball side might not have strolled to success like the 'Redeem Team' back in 2008, but they still came out on top in Brazil.

However, Barkley would have liked to have seen a younger contingent on the floor at the Games, and on the94WIP Morning Show this weekend, the former power forward questioned why Ben Simmons did not suit up for his native Australia.

“I would like to see some young guys,” Barkley said. “If we don’t win the gold medal, I don’t think it’s the end of the world. If you go back and look at the last three drafts of the NBA, I would love to see some of those guys that are not ready for the NBA. Even a young guy like a Ben Simmons, I thought he should have played. Even though he would have played for Australia, I have no idea why he didn’t play.

"I think he should have played for Australia. I think a young guy like a Nerlens Noel. He could’ve played in the Olympics. It would have been good for him because — I’m not saying this is bad — but instead of nothing all summer, what’s better playing against NBA players for a couple months during practice?”

For what it's worth, Simmons said back in June: "Obviously, I won't be playing at this Olympics because of the NBA and the draft and the timing – I wish I could."

Australia went on to finish fourth at the Olympics, losing to Spain by one point in the Bronze Medal game. Meanwhile, Simmons has turned out for the 76ers at the Summer League.

Nerlens Noel
Philadelphia Sixers
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Australian Olympic Team
Team USA Olympics
Joel Embiid

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