Andrew Bogut’s path back to the NBA this spring was an odd one, to say the least.
Yet for him, it made perfect sense.
After officially retiring from the NBA in 2018, the 33-year-old made the trip back home to Australia. He was set to join the Sydney Kings in the National Basketball League, having moved on completely from his lengthy NBA career — in which he spent seven years with the Milwaukee Bucks and four with the Golden State Warriors.
Bogut and his wife had two kids since his last stint with the Warriors ended, too, which made being able to return to his home country to play even more special.
Now, though, he’s back with the Warriors and is their starting center — attempting to help steer the franchise to their third-straight NBA championship. Just like that, Bogut is back in the center of the NBA world.
The reigning NBL MVP has agreed to return to the Kings for the 2019-20 season, which ends each year in early March. While it’s still early — the Warriors are still in their opening-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, where they hold a 3-2 lead — Bogut is open to making the same trek across the Pacific Ocean next season.
If an NBA team comes calling and needs extra help to make a playoff run, especially if it’s the Warriors, Bogut will listen.
"It's not something I'm turning down, or it's not something that I'm accepting at this point," Bogut said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "First and foremost, I'm wanting to get through this year, and then we can talk about the future.
"But if it presents itself again, it's a pretty ideal situation, especially in California. You come over, the weather's getting better, and hopefully you can compete for a championship again."
Bogut’s early postseason success at Golden State
Bogut signed a one-year deal with the Warriors in March, just after the NBL’s season ended. He was only truly meant to be a backup option for Golden State inside, too, though has ended up making a big impact after DeMarcus Cousins suffered what was likely a season-ending leg injury in their second playoff game.
Since he was thrust into the starting lineup, Bogut seemingly hasn’t missed a beat. He’s averaged 7.3 points and 9.6 rebounds in 21 minutes per contest in the past three games.
Though he isn’t the highest-profile member on the Warriors by any means, coach Steve Kerr knows he’s an important piece if they are going to win their fourth championship in five seasons.
He’s extremely happy with where his new starting center is at, and credits his time away from the NBA for his success.
"I think Andrew is in a really good place," Kerr said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "I think having a couple kids, going home to Australia and playing, I think he's just feeling really good about his life and his game. He's freed himself up. He's playing at a really high level.”
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