After an illustrious 15-year career in professional basketball, it appears that former No. 1 pick Andrew Bogut my be hanging up his basketball shoes for good — or at least he's thinking about it.
With the COVID-19 pandemic postponing the 2020 Summer Olympics to 2021, Bogut is not sure if his body can take another year of training and discipline to play in those games. As it is, he's already sitting at home in Australia and spending time with his sons Luka, 3, and Nikola, 2, and his wife Jessica.
"I'm not doing much, I can tell you that. ... To be able to kiss your kids goodnight and put them down every night, I've appreciated doing that," Bogut told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "Offsiders" program, which aired two weeks ago. "I haven't done any basketball since the season ended, and it feels good waking up, getting out of bed and not feeling like I'm walking on glass. It's [my career] all been thrown into a washing machine, essentially. ... But there's a decision to be made probably by mid-May.''
If the Olympics were to take place this summer and not been postponed, Bogut would've played for Australia and then probably called it a career afterwards — which he earned after 14 seasons in the NBA.
He 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.
Bogut then 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.
Bogut's main reason for wanting to suit up for Australia one last time is that this Australia squad could be 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 is expected to play for the squad at the upcoming Olympics, which would feature 7 NBA players in their top-10, and that's not including youngsters Josh green and Thon Maker, two players with a lot of upside who could thrive as well.
"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 ABC program. "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."
In the end, Bogut is looking to make a decision by mid-May. But regardless of what he chooses, it's safe to say that Bogut will go down as one of the best Australian basketball player to play in the NBA and has earned the right to go out on his terms.