Australian basketball star Andrew Bogut has been warned against playing in the NBL. Picture: Getty Images
Australian basketball star Andrew Bogut has been warned against playing in the NBL. Picture: Getty Images

Bogut could damage legacy in NBL

FORMER Boomer Chris Anstey says Melbourne-born NBA centre Andrew Bogut should consider a different path to the NBL.

Speculation has swirled in recent weeks that Bogut, 33, who has returned to Australia for family reasons, could sign with an NBL franchise for next season.

The rumour mill went into overdrive on Monday night when the NBA champion tweeted a cryptic message to followers - "Big week of happenings. Will share soon ..."

After a flurry of replies linking Bogut to NBL clubs, including Melbourne United, Bogut, a well-known petrol head, issued an apology: "Think some people are on the wrong trail, apologies. This involves the late great Peter Brock and a car."

Bogut has previously been linked to the NBL, as a player and possible investor in the resurgent league.

Andrew Bogut in action during his time at Golden State.
Andrew Bogut in action during his time at Golden State.

But Anstey has warned against the idea.

"I'm probably one of the rare ones that wouldn't want to see him come back and play because I think his legacy as an NBA player is fantastic and I'd hate to see that diminished," Anstey told the Herald Sun.

"I think he'd be in a no-win situation where if he dominated the NBL and won a championship, everyone will say 'well we expected that' but if he doesn't, I think it could negatively impact his legacy in Australian basketball."

Anstey said Bogut had already given enough to Australian basketball, but he would love to see him in an ownership or managerial role.

Bogut has enjoyed the best NBA career of any Australian, winning a title with the Golden State Warriors and earning more than $150 million across 14 seasons. He will turn 34 during the next NBL season.

Andrew Bogut battles DeAndre Jordan and Carmelo Anthony during the Rio Olympics.
Andrew Bogut battles DeAndre Jordan and Carmelo Anthony during the Rio Olympics.

Anstey spent three years in the NBA with Minnesota and Chicago, before returning to the NBL and producing a legacy that involved three titles and a raft of awards, including two MVPs.

Aged 25 when he returned to the league, he says the NBL is the fastest league in the world and not suited to big-man play.

"Once you hit your mid 30s and you're a banger, you're an interior player, it's hard to play in the NBL," Anstey said.

"The game's officiated for guards. They don't reward bigs at all. Can you imagine someone as big and strong as Bogut getting the ball on the block and making an NBA move and someone falls over and he gets four charges a game?

"Look how great (Melbourne United champion) Dave Andersen has been his whole European career and while he's not on the level of Bogut, he has struggled with the pace of the NBL game. As well as he's done and as serviceable as he's been, he's a role player at United."


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