According to Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph, Andrej Lemanis’ departure from the Australia coaching job is based on a relationship breakdown with Sixers star Ben Simmons and other NBA players in Jonah Bolden and Thon Maker.
The main criticism was that Lemanis struggled to communicate with these younger players and his old school approach wasn’t well received. Lemanis reportedly became tired of the constant battles with players within the team, and decided to walk away with a year to run on his contract.
The NBA All-Star guard was constantly at loggerheads with Basketball Australia over performance demands being rejected due to budgeting reasons, with requests including a personal team chef instead of eating at hotels, plus extra recovery and performance staff like personal physiotherapists.
In 2014 Lemanis decided not to include a then 18-year-old Simmons in the Boomers’ World Cup team, telling reporters “he wasn’t ready yet”. Simmons tweeted he was “’really disappointed” he was a late cut from the squad. The guard has since repeatedly skipped Australian squad duties, including the 2016 Rio Olympics and this year’s World Cup.