NBAMate recently caught up with Milwaukee Buck and Aussie legend Andrew Bogut, to pick his brain on All-Star snubs, Kevin Garnett and more.
Andrew, appreciate you taking the time to talk to us at NBAMate.
The topic on every NBA fan’s mind at the moment is obviously the lockout. There’s been some ups and downs in lockout talks recently and the headlines are changing daily. As an NBA player, how do you stay abreast of the developments?
AB: I don’t. After the first or second tease of this all being over in October, I now don’t really believe anything until I receive that phone call.
We know that insurance issues prevented you from signing an NBL contract. How disappointed were you when that fell through?
AB: Very, it was a rare opportunity to play here in the NBL in the prime of my career and one that might not come again.
Is it fair to say that one positive of the lockout has been the extra recovery time you’ve had? Are you nearing 100% health again?
AB: Definitely, but now it’s gotten to the point of wanting this thing to get started again!
We have to ask, have you heard of the “Bogometer”? (If you haven’t, this post gives you a fair idea). We like to imagine that NBAMate is the first thing you check after a big game to see how the Bogometer scored. Any truth in this at all?
AB: Haha no sorry, I haven’t heard of it before! Looks to have its ups and downs though!
Apart from health, what does Milwaukee need to take the next step?
AB: Establish a core group that can stay together for more than one season.
You’ve had a few ‘testy’ battles with KG in recent years, and we’ve used some fairly choice words to describe the bloke on this blog. Do you enjoy these contests and how do you really feel about the guy?
AB: Sure do, and I am pretty sure you can quote whatever words you’ve used!
(Editor’s note: words like this?)
This is our favorite photo of Lebron James
In the past couple of years we’ve seen Andrew Bogut develop into a defensive powerhouse. Just three seasons ago you were averaging 1 block per game – last season it was almost 3 and you were the league leader. How did you manage to make this jump?
AB: Just made it a focus. It goes to show that basketball IQ is more important than athleticism at times. There are numerous instances on the court where I fall into a block by good positioning and being there early. I am not the most athletic center in the league, but I do all my work early by reading the game. There is no way anyone would have picked me to ever lead a season in blocks.
I’m sure you get asked ‘Who is your toughest opponent?’ all the time. But who are some tough matchups for you that might surprise us?
AB: Dwight Howard, he leaves you feeling the blows a week later.
Surprise us? Not really…
Anyone worth their salt knew you deserved All-Star selection the last two seasons (especially in 2009/10). You gave very diplomatic responses after those snubs, but be honest with us – were you ticked off? Because we certainly were.
AB: That’s life, I will have more chances. But it was contradictory of the NBA to initially say that I didn’t make the All-Star team over Horford because we didn’t have a lot of wins, and then go on to replace AI (Iverson) with D Lee who had less wins. Both are great players and it could have gone either way. I was unlucky and they both deserved their spot.
In the last five years the popularity of basketball and the NBA has continued to grow in Australia, despite the struggles of the local league. A big reason for that is your success in the USA and the media and fan attention it creates Downunder. How do you enjoy your role as Australian Ambassador over there? And how do you stay in touch with the game back home?
AB: Definitely. I am a basketball fan in general and I follow the NBL very closely and I am constantly reading articles/stats online. Twitter also helps.
We honor your nastiest dunks with a ‘Bogut on Your Face’ poster here at NBAMate. Personally, I like the one where you creamed Big Baby. Which is your favorite? (a short selection below)
AB: Big Baby!
Thanks for your time Andrew and we hope to see you on the court soon.
AB: No worries, thanks guys.
The ‘Bogut on Your Face’ Shrine