Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images
Recently I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to come up with a fitting NBA comparison for the Andrew Bogut i2.0 that’s been unleashed on the NBA in the last two months. I wanted to be able to preach the greatness of the BoGod to those who are NBA fans yet don’t catch too many Milwaukee games (i.e. most people). I wanted to tell them that “he’s playing like…”, yet would end up saying something like gun, or champ, or star. All of which are true, of course, but don’t really convey a great amount of information, particularly coming from an Au-ssssie. More than saying that he’s playing well, I wished to express precisely how he was doing it.
Now, some of you will dismiss player comparisons as entirely too simplistic a practice. Others will argue that no two players are really alike, so the whole exercise is a waste of time. Nonetheless, it’s fun to do, and it’s the easiest way to describe a player in 10 words or less.
For example, I’ve never seen Evan Turner play – I find college basketball to be only slightly more watchable than, say, fishing or curling. I can, nonetheless, form a rough idea of his style of play from the comparisons floating about. Some hybrid of Roy, Wade and Pippen, they say. No doubt one of you college basketball aficionados will tell me why that’s a dumb comparison, or that he won’t be nearly as good, or whatever. But the point remains – it’s a lot more useful to give a comparison than to simply describe a player as a star.
So, with no further ado, I present:
Andrew Bogut: a slightly-poor man’s Tim Duncan.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, I’ve broken the rule of player comparisons which dictates that white guys should only ever be compared with other white guys. Still, if you can get over that little tidbit, the similarities should be clear.
In fact, rather than going through all of them, I’d urge anyone to name any glaring differences in their games. The answer – obvious if you’ve watched both play – is that Duncan has that beautiful bank-shot, and Bogut doesn’t. Easy enough. So we have;
Andrew Bogut: Tim Duncan without a bankshot.
Any other quibbles you may have should be minor. For example, Duncan was – in his prime – a better man defender. But stylistically, there’s not much difference in the way they went about it. Likewise for anything else you can think of. It’s simply the best fit out there. They both epitomise fundamentals over athleticism, effectiveness over style. They both just get it done.
And yes, Tim Duncan is an undisputed legend of the game. One of the greats. I’m sure some will call this whole post idiotic on the basis of that fact alone. But I say we should embrace the comparison. Embrace it, use it, and watch as those who hear it for the first time react with indignation and dismiss it altogether. That’s OK.
But I bet that next time they watch a Milwaukee game, they’ll inevitable recognize the obvious shades of Timmy in Bogut’s game. Even if they won’t ever admit it.