After an illustrious 15-year career in professional basketball, former Utah-great and No. 1 pick of the 2004 NBA draft Andrew Bogut has announced that he is retiring from professional basketball.
When the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the 2020 Summer Olympics to 2021, Bogut wasn't not sure if his body could take another year of training and discipline to play in those games. As it was, he was already sitting at home in Australia and spending his time with his sons Luka, 3, and Nikola, 2, and his wife Jessica.
After mulling over retirement talk for the better part of six months, Bogut made the announcement official on his “Rogue Bogues” podcast.
“The decision that I made and where I will be signing for next season is absolutely nowhere. I’ll be retiring from professional basketball effective immediately," Bogut said. "We’re in late November, early December. I would have made this decision earlier if it wasn’t for the postponement of the Olympics. I was hoping to get to 2020 Tokyo games and then call it a day after that. That would be my fourth Olympics and selfishly obviously, it would have been a great accolade to have four Olympic games under your belt, but it’s just not meant to be. I just can’t physically and mentally get to 2021 with the way the body’s been.”
Bogut was taken No. 1 overall in the 2005 NBA draft out of Utah, where earned Naismith College Player of the Year honors and the John R. Wooden Award while leading the Utes to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and a Mountain West Conference championship. He averaged 20.4 points and 12.2 rebounds, shooting 62% from the field, before having his No. 4 jersey retired.
The Milwaukee Bucks chose Bogut and he suited up for them for seven seasons, being named to the All-NBA Rookie First-Team and a third-team All-NBA member during the 2010 season.
Then in March of 2012, Bogut and Stephen Jackson were traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown — which ultimately proved to be a career-changing move. Bogut became a core piece of the Warriors dynasty, helping them win the NBA championship in 2015 when he was named to the All-NBA defensive second-team.
He then played for the Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers from 2016-2018 before signing a two-year deal with the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League in Australia. He was named MVP of the NBL after the 2018-19 season before rejoining the Warriors in their NBA finals run, where they lost in 6 games to the Toronto Raptors.
Numerous members of the Warriors who played with Bogut on the NBA Finals team took to Twitter to voice their appreciation, admiration and respect for the big man.
After his last finals run with Golden State, Bogut returned to Australia where he helped lead the Kings to the NBL Finals, but the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately ended the championship series with his team trailing 2-1 in the best-of-5 series.
His main reason for wanting to suit up for Australia one last time is that the Australia squad could've been the best team ever assembled by the nation.
Australia had a fourth-place finish at last year's World Cup in China, and that came without Ben Simmons, widely regarded as the best Australian basketball player in the world. Simmons was expected to play for the squad at the upcoming Olympics, which would've feature 9 NBA players in their top-10
"We've been tantalizingly close, and the squad we're going to have is arguably going to be the best squad in the history of the Boomers, on paper at least,'' Bogut told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "Offsiders" program earlier in the year. "To be part of that, selfishly, is something I really want to do, but the body is what it comes down to. I can get up for a basketball game any day of the week, but it's hard to get up for five, six days of training a week and lifting weights."
For his career in the states, Bogut averaged 9.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.5 blocks in the league. He was named All-NBA in 2009-10 and All-Defensive team in 2014-15.
Bogut will go down as arguably the greatest Ute to ever play basketball, as his number currently hangs from the rafters for all to see. After a decorated NBA and overseas professional career, it's fitting that the man who came out of nowhere to dominate college basketball leaves in the same manner, with dignity and respect from all of those who've ever encountered him.
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