Brad Newley, the shock omission from the Boomers Olympic squad, rates the current team the best Australian men's side ever and says a breakthrough medal would be for all who missed out in previous campaigns.
Australia beat France and Serbia in their first two games and then suffered an honourable 10-point loss to the mighty Team USA after leading at halftime.
A fixture of the Boomers group for a decade, Newley featured at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics before controversially being overlooked for Rio.
And while the Sydney Kings signing admits it's been tough to watch the team from Australia, Newley is eager for them to improve on a previous best of fourth, achieved on three occasions.
"I'm proud of those guys no matter what happens," Newley said prior to the game against the US.
"A lot of those guys are my best friends, in fact many of them went to my wedding.
"It's tough I'll admit to watch, but at the end of the day I was this close to potentially playing for the best Australian team that's ever played.
"If those guys get out there and get that medal for us, it's not just for them I believe - it's for all the guys over the years who went without medals.
"Andrew (Gaze), Hammer (Shane Heal), Mark Bradtke, they are playing for us and that's the way the Australian culture is."