Andrew Bogut considering retirement with 2020 Olympics postponed, Australian basketball season over
The former No. 1 overall pick did not play in the NBA this season
Andrew Bogut may not have played in the NBA this season, but the former No. 1 overall pick was still a presence in the basketball world. He helped lead the Sydney Kings to the NBL's Finals -- which were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic -- and had initially planned to retire after playing for the Australian National Team at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. With the Olympics postponed until 2021 at the earliest, though, Bogut is now considering an early retirement.
"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,'' Bogut said on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "Offsiders" program, which aired Sunday and was transcribed by the Associated Press. "It's [my career] all been thrown into a washing machine, essentially ... but there's a decision to be made probably by mid-May."
Bogut won the NBL's MVP award in 2019, but statistically declined this season in averaging only 8.2 points in 21.6 minutes per game. While he still believes he can play in games, Bogut has doubts about his ability to maintain a consistent training regimen. "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," Bogut said.
While his NBA career was, in all likelihood, over, Bogut had a chance to help Australia win its first medal in basketball ever this summer. In 2016, Australia came in fourth at the Rio Olympics and managed to defeat Team USA in an exhibition game ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. This summer's Olympic roster was set to add Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons, who had maintained that he planned to play in Tokyo.
Potentially losing the chance to win a medal for his home country would sting for Bogut. "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 said. "To be part of that, selfishly, is something I really want to do, but the body is what it comes down to."
Bogut spent the bulk of his NBA career playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors, winning a championship in 2015 before bouncing around the league for his final few years. He returned to the Warriors for last season's Finals run, but injuries to star teammates Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson ruined his chance at riding off into the sunset with a second ring.
If he does indeed retire, Bogut will leave the game as the most decorated Australian player in history. He was the first Australian player ever to earn All-NBA or All-Defense honors, and his stardom helped launch the greatest period in Australian basketball history. He may be leaving the game, but his home country will remain a power in international basketball for years to come, thanks in large part to his own stardom.
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