After 15 years in professional basketball, Andrew Bogut is close to making a decision on when to end his career. The coronavirus and subsequent postponement of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo isn't making it any easier. The 35-year-old Bogut, who was the 2005 No. 1 draft pick by the Milwaukee Bucks and later won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, was planning to retire after playing for Australia at the Tokyo Games in three months. Those games have been delayed until July 2021. But Bogut, who has played for Sydney in the National Basketball League the past two seasons, isn't sure he can take the training and discipline needed to go another year.
"I'm not doing much, I can tell you that,'' Bogut told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation "Offsiders" program, which aired on Sunday. "To be able to kiss your kids goodnight and put them down every night ... I've appreciated doing that.'' Bogut has two boys -- Luka, 3, and Nikola, 2 -- with his wife, Jessica. "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. "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 expressed interest in coaching once his kids complete high school in over a decade from now. But Loeliger sounded open minded on whether Bogut would eventually become an executive or coach with the Kings. “More likely than not, he’s going to be involved in the front office with the Sydney Kings,” Loeliger said. “But I’d certainly be open to both possibilities. He’s definitely an asset.”
Olgun Uluc: Andrew Bogut says there are no NBA outs in his deal. No Euro outs, either. He’s committed to the Sydney Kings for two years, and says he’s retired from the NBA.
Andrew Bogut: I’ll definitely coach at some point, but I don’t think it will be in the NBA. I don’t think the NBA lifestyle is conducive to raise a family in. I think the environment is great as a player, you make the most of it but to continue and be involved in the NBA for 30-40 years, I don’t think I can do it.
Do you see yourself coaching back here in Australia at the club or National Team level? Andrew Bogut: Who knows, I couldn’t tell you right now honestly. The NBL could be a possibility, National Team – the local junior competition. I’ll be in a position where I don’t have to do anything for money, so I can kind of do what I enjoy doing most.
January 27, 2021 | 8:36 pm EST Update
“I see why there’s a comparison. Obviously, LeBron is one of the greatest to ever do it and Ben has the potential given the size, ability, and speed, but it’s unfair. It’s unfair to compare anybody to LeBron or compare anybody to Michael Jordan, especially at a young age.”
Attempts to grow closer as a team are confronting a world in which proximity to teammates is both dangerous and prohibited. As a result, NBA players and staffs have been reduced to distant conversations through face masks, and a road life dominated by individual screens rather than collective camaraderie. “The reality is that you can’t do stuff like that anymore,” Haslem said. “Those opportunities don’t exist.” In Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner’s words: “It’s a bubble within a bubble.”
STARTING AN AVERAGE day on the road, an NBA player must now wake up as early as 7:30 a.m. to be tested before a practice or shootaround, depending on the market. He then returns to his room to catch another hour or so of sleep, or to busy himself with a video game, an episode of a series or maybe a FaceTime session with family back home. A couple of hours later, he reports downstairs to board the team bus. The wait in the lobby is traditionally a time when players schmooze and hang out, but with everyone at least 6 feet apart and masked, the vibe has taken on an edgy quality.
Pre-practice strategy sessions at the hotel can no longer last more than 10 minutes. Shootaround or practice offer some normalcy, but breakfast back at the hotel in a ballroom, typically a communal ritual where players and staff yuck it up at tables for eight, now operates as a grab-and-go. Want some fresh air? Forget about taking a walk outside, even though the CDC and other leading medical institutions regard outdoor activities with the appropriate precautions as low risk.
Back in the hotel room, the walls close in for players. More video games and binge watching. Myles Turner has delved into Narcos and has been playing Cyberpunk 2077, while Sacramento Kings guard Cory Joseph recently watched the Tony Parker documentary on Netflix. “I don’t think locking up in a room for 24 hours just coming out to play basketball is mentally healthy,” Haslem said. “I need to go out and take a walk because there are things that can pile up that have nothing to do with the game of basketball. And you’re saying that I can’t even go take a walk? I don’t think that’s right. Even in the bubble, you can go take a walk and get some fresh air.”
This season, that ground rarely extends much past the door to a hotel room. The Spurs’ custom on the plane has been effectively prohibited. Under the new guidelines, players must sit next to the same guys they sit next to on the bench during games. On an off night, it’s dinners for one in the room — a far cry from the jovial dining out experience in a road city. “I think that’s hard — having options taken away,” Holiday said. “You might go to your favorite city, and have a favorite food spot that people might not know about. And that’s something that you can bring to the table, something you share, and [this season] you can’t really share that.”