Ben Simmons’ rollercoaster Melbourne ride
BEN Simmons - the NBA's $241 million Aussie megastar - has made headlines with his Philadelphia 76ers pay cheque and withdrawal from exhibition matches between the Boomers and USA.
He's in Melbourne for training sessions with Australia ahead of the exhibition games, and has courted a little controversy along the way.
But the Box Hill boy has still managed to turn on the charm.
Here's some of what Simmons has been up to during his visit.
July 28: Simmons trains with hundreds of kids at the Mullum Mullum Stadium in Donvale at the Ben Simmons basketball camp.
July 30: Simmons and basketball mate Alex Subers are choppered from Southbank into Healesville Sanctuary with basketball photographer mate Alex Subers, then go wine tasting at Seville Estate.
He later catches up with Dylan Alcott for a burger at Easey's in Collingwood, spray-painting one of the hipster joint's rooftop trains.
July 31: Simmons makes a surprise appearance at a basketball training session with about 20 children for Helping Hoops, a charity basketball program. He thrills participants with a mighty slam dunk that also sets social media alight.
August 1: Simmons attends the premiere of The Australian Dream , the documentary about former Swans great Adam Goodes. Simmons is an executive producer of the film.
August 2: Simmons is driving around town in an $800,000 Rolls Royce Wraith Black Badge. Simmons picked up the car from Zagame Rolls-Royce in Richmond to use during his two-week break in Melbourne.
August 3: Simmons takes his entourage to see the Essendon v Port Adelaide match at Marvel Stadium with Aussie New York-based model Talia Richman, setting tongues wagging. His beloved Bombers copped a 59-point thumping. He also attends Boomers training.
August 5: Simmons claims he and his party are turned away from Melbourne's Crown Casino, prompting an Instagram video post in which in infers he was denied entry because of racial profiling. He deletes the post, but it still makes headlines in the United States and around the world. Crown denies racially profiling Simmons.
August 6: Simmons stands his ground on the Crown issue, but he doesn't let the brouhaha cloud his day. He spends time with members of the Richmond AFLW team at Punt Rd Oval, and manages to fire in a goal from 50m out.
Simmons also visits young Carey Grammar student, Charlie Sweet, for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
August 7: It's another day out for the basketball superstar.
Simmons is spotted shopping with friends in the CBD, buying streetwear at Culture Kings in Hosier Lane, as it's revealed he is on the Visit Victoria payroll to spruik his home town.