Follow the World Cup on Facebook
Thybulle takes leap with Boomers
PHILADELPHIA (USA) - Matisse Thybulle is in a better place on the hardwood this season thanks to his Olympic bronze-medal winning adventure with Australia.
In his debut experience with the Boomers, one he documented with a YouTube series Road to Tokyo, Thybulle forged a bond with his teammates and coaches and played a significant role in the history-making summer for Australia as it reached the podium for the first time at the Summer Games.
While Thybulle understood that playing for the national side would be a heavy commitment, he knew it would be rewarding. His teammates were Australia's finest: Pat Mills, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and Aron Baynes.
Thybulle was a big hit on both ends of the floor for the Boomers in 2021
"Everyone is kind of scared, and this is not the case with the Boomers," he said in an interview with ESPN Australia. "Guys are scared of playing in the offseason and doing too much, [but] you've seen Patty, Joe, Delly and Baynes do this forever.
"Just putting together massive years of playing basketball. I think that's a testament to why their careers have been so long-lived and why they've been able to be so consistent in the NBA and I'm definitely trying to take a page out of their book in that sense."
Thybulle lived up to is reputation as a lock-down defender with the Boomers. He averaged a tournament-high 3.0 steals per game, but also found a way to contribute on the offensive end and it was in this area of the game where he says the summer helped his development as a player.
"The biggest thing they [Philadelphia 76ers coaches] said when I got back is that I've gotten so much better."
Australia coach Brian Goorjian was very clear about his expectations, which he voiced during a warm-up game for the Olympics.
"One of the first conversations we had was during halftime of one of the first games in Vegas," Thybulle said.
"He told me I wasn't going to get any plays called for me and it was going to be hard for me to find opportunities, but he needed me to want to go and find those opportunities because without that, it was going to be hard for us to succeed... "
Thybulle averaged 7.8 points per game. He shot 62.1 percent from the floor and had 11 points in the Quarter-Final win over Argentina and 12 in the Bronze Medal Game triumph over Slovenia.
"For most guys to produce offensively they need a play called for them," Thybulle said. "To have it laid out for me so black-and-white was great because I have struggled with it in the NBA.
"Ever since Goorj laid it out so simply for me and then I could commit to it. To have my success celebrated keeps that motivation and keeps the fire burning to want to continue to do it."
Thybulle was a menace on defense and also put pressure on opponents when Australia had possession
Not only did Thybulle live an unforgettable summer, he also took a big step forward in his career.
"It's cool to see the reaction of the [Philadelphia] coaching staff," he said. "The biggest thing they said when I got back is that I've gotten so much better."
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 tips off in just over a year and a half. Thybulle, if the Boomers qualify, could be a member of the team that attempts to reach the podium of that event for the first time, something they almost did at the last one in China, in 2019, when finishing fourth.