Philadelphia 76ers: Matisse Thybulle is ready to test his Olympic mettle

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

While the 2020-21 NBA season is running down, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still some meaningful basketball left to play this summer.

Throw on your red, white, and blue, my friends, for we’re roughly a month away from some good old fashion Team USA basketball.

Now granted, technically every year Team USA convenes for some practices, maybe a few scrimmages and the occasional tournament – this year, the team took part in some AmeriCup completion lead by Isaiah Thomas- but once every four years – or in this case, five – things get ratcheted up a notch by the Summer Olympics.

*insert Olympics theme effects here*

Though the United States is expected to win gold in Tokyo due to their absolute abundance of homegrown, superstar talent, seemingly every team from around the globe will have some NBA representation on their roster on the game’s grandest stage, with Canada leading the way with a whopping eight current Association players (plus Anthony Bennett).

And as for the Philadelphia 76ers? Well, they’ll be represented in Tokyo too, as Matisse Thybulle officially be taking part in the festivities as a member of Team Australia.

Yes, before you ask, Matisse Thybulle is technically Australian.

Philadelphia 76ers fans have two teams to root for in the Olympics this year.

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Matisse Thybulle was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, played his High School ball outside of Seattle and attended the University of Washington for the entirety of his four-year college career.

He’s an American through and through and has lived here for the entirety of his adult life, but for a seven-year period from two through nine, Thybulle lived abroad in Sydney, Australia, where he still holds dual citizenship to this day.

Did Thybulle ever play basketball in Australia? No. Well, actually, yes, he did as a member of the Pac-12 All-Stars back in 2016, but during his developmental years Down Under (sorry), Thybulle spent his days going to school, hanging out at the beach, and swimming, an activity he was reportedly very good at.

Still, when Austalia came looking for contributors to their team, Thybulle immediately accepted the offer back in February and just joined the squad down in LA/Vegas, where the Australian Boomers are training for Tokyo later this month.

I’ve gotta say, seeing Tisse in Packers colors is going to take a little getting used to, but it’ll certainly be nice to see what the 24-year-old can do outside the confines of the Sixers Big 3.

Presumably set to start at the “three-guard” spot alongside Patty Mills of the Spurs – who Bryan Windhorst called the Steve Nash of Australian Olympics Basketball on a recent episode of the Hoops Collective Podcast – and either Matthew Delavadova of the Cavaliers or Dante Exum of the Rockets, Thybulle will be tasked with playing a completely different role than he’s filed in Philly through the first two seasons of his NBA career; a role much more akin to the one he played in Washington under Mike Hopkins.

Have you ever wondered how Thybulle would look in a faster, looser offense designed around more traditional point guards sans an elite post presence? Or how about more frequent looks where he’s, say, the second offense option instead of a certified afterthought? Heck, we may even see Thybulle go full-on 3-and-D and double his average attempts from beyond the arc as one of the Boomers’ few shooters from distance.

Well, then you’d better tune into the Olympics when they officially kick off on Friday, July 23rd, as the world – literally – will be getting their first look at Thybulle on an international stage.

Next. Keep an eye on Reggie “Mr. June” Jackson. dark

When news broke that Ben Simmons was going to be withdrawing from the Olympics to focus on “skill development,” it left many a salty fan in the land of Four’N Twenty Beef Travelers. Despite his ultra-low perception in the states due to his underwhelming playoff efforts and “the shot,” he would have still been the highest-profile player on the team in some time, maybe ever depending on your opinion of Andrew Bogut. While Matisse Thybulle won’t replace that straight up, his defensive dominance and thief’s mentality will surely translate well on the national stage and made fans of the Philadephia 76ers proud, even if they’ll surely be rooting against him when he faces off against the juggernaut known as Team USA.