LIKE most professional athletes during the coronavirus pandemic, former NBA center and current Australian NBL player Andrew Bogut is staying close to home, not doing much besides spending time with his family.
But unlike most of his professional counterparts, Bogut’s pause from sports may extend well beyond the coronavirus-induced break.
The 35-year-old, 14-year NBA veteran was planning to retire after playing for his native Australia at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. But those games have been pushed back a year, and Bogut told an Australian news program in a report Sunday that the delay could mean the end of his career.
“I’m not doing much, I can tell you that,” Bogut told the Australian television show “Offsiders.”
“To be able to kiss your kids good night and put them down every night … I’ve appreciated doing that,” he continued.
Bogut spent this past season in Australia after playing 11 games in the NBA with Golden State in 2018-19. After Milwaukee made him the No.1 overall pick in 2005, Bogut spent seven seasons with the Bucks, followed by stints with the Warriors (twice), Dallas, Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers. He won his only NBA championship in 2015 with Golden State.
He has two sons, ages 2 and 3.
“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. “(My career has) all been thrown into a washing machine, essentially … but there’s a decision (about retirement) to be made probably by mid-May.”
Bogut helped Australia finish fourth in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. That success, combined with the fact that Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons could play for Australia in the Olympics after missing the World Cup, had Bogut anticipating this summer’s games.
But he isn’t sure his body can take another year of training and playing.
“We’ve been tantalizingly close, and the squad we’re going to have is arguably going to be the best squad in the history of the Boomers, on paper at least,” Bogut told the show. “To be part of that, selfishly, is something I really want to do, but the body is what it comes down to.
“I can get up for a basketball game any day of the week, but it’s hard to get up for five, six days of training a week and lifting weights.”
Bogut averaged 9.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in his NBA career, playing in 706 games and starting 661.