NBL 2020-2021: Bogut open to playing for a different NBL team
Andrew Bogut says he is prepared to play for another NBL team if the Sydney Kings can’t fit him in when he decides his future in the new year.
Bogut’s career remains on hold after he opted to wait before committing to a club due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The big man’s preference is to return to Sydney if he rejoins the NBL, but he concedes it isn’t for certain if the Kings don’t have any room left.
“If the roster is full by the time that I’ve made my decision, then I have to look at other alternatives and I’ve told Sydney that,” Bogut said.
“I was really cognisant of not dragging the Kings on and waiting until August and September and then saying, ‘I don’t want to play anymore’.
“They could miss out on two recruits to fill my spot, so I wanted them to be on the front foot recruitment wise.”
Back in May, Bogut opted against committing to Sydney for the 2020-2021 NBL season as he felt the uncertainty around the coronavirus made it too difficult to plan his future.
It was initially suggested that he had closed the door on his Kings career, but he insists this isn’t the case.
“There is nothing further from the truth,” he said.
“If I elect to play in the NBL again, my No. 1 priority is to play for Sydney. It is a no-brainer. I love the people there and I’m a minority owner still.
“I just don’t have a concrete decision on what I want to do based on the coronavirus.”
With the virus re-emerging in Victoria, forcing the lockdown of state borders, Bogut fears for the upcoming NBL season.
The coronavirus has also put his NBA plans on hold with international flights grounded for the foreseeable future.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the (NBL) season was awash, but I hope it goes ahead,” he said.
“Victoria are going back into lockdown in 10 suburbs and the AFL are getting locked out of states.
“That potentially could happen in the NBL if all this isn’t eradicated. I don’t see it being fixed by December.
“It is why there is no point putting something out now saying, ‘I’m all in’, and then the season gets delayed.
“You can’t make a decision on anything because everything is still up in the air.”
Andrew Bogut of the Kings slam dunks. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
BOGUT’S ‘ILLAWARRA’ CONCERN:
Debate has raged over the decision to rebrand the Illawarra Hawks to the Hawks, and Bogut agrees that it is a bizarre decision.
The Wollongong-region faithful have expressed their concern that removing Illawarra is like deleting the franchise’s proud 41-year history.
Bogut feels the same way.
“It definitely isn’t a good thing for the local market,” he said.
“We are hearing rumours that they will play different games around NSW, which is head scratching.
“You’d hope that doesn’t happen because if it does, I feel like the horse is going to bolt from that area and I don’t think people will support that product.
“In a basketball sense, where fans aren’t as rabid and support isn’t as great, I don’t think you can take a game to Canberra or Newcastle and then come back to Illawarra for 10 more games and expect everyone to be like, ‘Yeah, that is Illawarra’s team’.
“I think you lose a bit of your identity, but hopefully they are trying to work on how they can expand the club within the club’s reach.”
Bogut also welcomed the news that a Tasmanian side would enter the league in 2021-2022 but questioned whether it was fair that NBL owner Larry Kestelman had a financial stake in the franchise.
“From what I hear, the team is still majority owned by Larry, which is interesting because I think that is now a fourth team that he will have an equity in,” he said.
“He is the league owner, but when you talk about parity, you don’t want a league owner owning teams.”
Originally published asBogut prepared to play elsewhere
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