To be a fly on the wall the moment Patty Mills heard Ben Simmons' plane ticket might as well be torn to shreds.
Word filtering in from the United States is Simmons is on the verge of withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympic Games in the wake of a forgettable end to his NBA campaign.
For "skill development".
There is little doubt Simmons' confidence is shot after the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers crashed out of the eastern conference semi-finals against the Atlanta Hawks.
But as far as redemption tales go, few could be greater than helping Mills and Joe Ingles guide Australia to a maiden men's Olympic medal.
Tokyo is supposed to be the Boomers' best shot after Australia finished fourth both in Rio and at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Simmons did not feature in either.
Now rumours of his decision - as we await confirmation from Simmons and Basketball Australia - to walk away from the Boomers is set to shatter his standing in his home country.
You would think a chance to play for the Boomers would allow Simmons to hit the reset button.
Yet it seems there is little desire to pull on the green and gold, colours Mills does so much to deliver for it has coined a persona dubbed "Boomers Patty".
Instead Simmons' priority is with a franchise which hardly seems to see a future with him. A team he went missing for at crucial stages in the home stretch during the playoffs.
You want to erase those memories as quickly as you can. It's a small, small period of time - we're talking three to four weeks - but it can be very influential.Andrew Gaze on Ben Simmons
In a seven-game series against Atlanta, Simmons took three fourth-quarter shots. None came in the final four games, three of which the 76ers lost. He won't pull the trigger, not even on a wide-open dunk.
The general consensus is playing with the likes of Mills, Ingles and a Boomers team with a point to prove under Brian Goorjian could be the perfect tonic to reignite Simmons' game.
"We can all speculate and hypothesise, but based on my experiences I would be strongly encouraging him to play," Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze said.
"You want to erase those memories as quickly as you can, and grow and learn and the Australian team has an unbelievably welcoming and supporting culture and success with individual development.
"It's a small, small period of time - we're talking three to four weeks - but it can be very influential.
"I don't think any of us would have a full appreciation of the challenges he would face on a variety of fronts.
"But I do have a very good appreciation for how beneficial an Olympics experience can be.
"It's a very healthy environment to be involved in; it won't be the be-all and end-all, but it can be very helpful."
Instead Simmons is unlikely to play as Australia eye a podium finish which would mark one of the finest moments in the country's Olympic history.
Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers was asked if Simmons can be a championship point guard. "I don't know the answer to that," Rivers said.
Perhaps the question is misguided. Simmons should not be cast as a point guard, simply because he isn't one. What he can be is a championship player in the vein of Draymond Green.
What he can be is a man to help ignite the Boomers' charge in Tokyo. But when Mills and co get ready for the opening tip, the hot tip is Simmons will be nowhere to be seen.
AT A GLANCE
Boomers squad: Aron Baynes, Ryan Broekhoff, Xavier Cooks, Mitchell Creek, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Josh Giddey, Chris Goulding, Josh Green, Isaac Humphries, Joe Ingles, Nick Kay, Jock Landale, Patty Mills, Brock Motum, Duop Reath, Ben Simmons, Nathan Sobey, Matisse Thybulle.
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