Jonah Bolden is finally joining the 76ers in the NBA, a year after being drafted.His career has taken a scenic route to the NBA but one destination Australia’s latest basketball sensation Jonah Bolden can’t help looking forward to is Tokyo, host of the next Olympics.
Bolden will become Australia’s 10th player in the NBA this coming season after joining the Philadelphia 76ers on a four-year deal.
The 22-year-old, 208-centimetre forward is the son of retired NBL great Bruce Bolden and will join forces with fellow Aussies Ben Simmons and coach Brett Brown in Philadelphia.
The Sixers actually selected Bolden in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft but left him in Europe this past season.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the long way (to the NBA), I just say the different way,” Bolden said on Wednesday in Melbourne where he has been training with NBL champions United.
“It didn’t bother me what route I had to take, I just knew that I would one day get there whether that was having to go overseas for two years or being in college for one year.”
The depth of Australian talent playing in the world’s best league can only bode well for the Boomers come the 2020 Olympics.
As well as NBA rookie of the year Simmons, there’s Dante Exum, Matthew Dellavedova, Patty Mills, Aron Baynes, Thon Maker, Ryan Broekhoff and Mangok Mathiang who could all don the green and gold.
“I’m very excited,” Bolden said.
“I was talking to someone today about how this could be one of the best Australian teams come 2020.
“My goal right now is obviously Philly but no doubt I’m thinking about 2020 and then Olympics.”
Exum, who recently signed a three-year, $US33 million ($A44 million) deal to stay with the Utah Jazz, has also been training with the NBL champions.
Bolden said it had been a solid preparation before he flies to the USA on Friday.
The training could also prove handy when the Sixers host the NBL side in Philadelphia on September 29.
“It’s been an honour working out and it’s good to stay in shape and working on my shooting consistency,” Bolden said.
“It’s a high standard of basketball – the quality of the NBL goes up a notch every year.”