Bogut spent the last two years of his professional career back playing in his homeland of Australia’s top league, the NBL, signing with the Sydney Kings in 2018. The Melbourne native went on to win the league’s MVP award in his first year there before his second season with the team was cut short due to health concerns in the country.
The Aussie first popped onto the basketball scene back in 2003 when he led Australia to a surprising gold medal at the U-19 FIBA World Championships on his way to MVP honors at the tournament.
As the first overall choice in the 2005 NBA Draft, there were very high expectations for Bogut early on in his career. While he did make the 2006 All-Rookie First Team, the All-NBA Third Team in 2010, and finish as the NBA blocks leader in 2011, he never really lived up to his billing as a no. 1 pick with the Bucks.
Eventually they shipped him off to Golden State, where Bogut would become a key piece in the emergence of the Warriors dynasty, earning All-Defensive Second Team honors as he helped Steph Curry and the boys win the NBA championship in 2015, something that sportsbooks are putting +1200 odds on for the Dubs to do again in 2021.
Bogut would spend the twilight of his NBA career moving around from Dallas, to Cleveland, to L.A., and back to Golden State again. Throughout his career in the NBA and NBL, Bogut built a solid reputation for himself not only as one of the smoothest passing big men in the history of the game, but also as one of the best rim protectors of his time as well.
The seven-footer’s career has been littered with freak injuries. These included an awkward fall that caused a broken hand, dislocated elbow and sprained wrist in 2010, fracturing his tibia under a minute into his Cavaliers debut in 2017, and many other knee and ankle ailments.
Most recently, Bogut had to “clean out” his ankle because of bone spur issues that had also caused him problems back in 2012. The big man also had to go under the knife to relieve a sciatica in his back this past year.
“I’m not going to lie; the last two years have been a real challenge for me just to get out of bed in the mornings, let alone going to a training session or a game,” Bogut said. “The body from 2018 onwards was hanging by a thread.”
During his injury-riddled 14-year career in the NBA, Bogut put up respectable averages of 9.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. But with all the health problems, it’s probably for the best that Bogut finally hangs em up and starts enjoying life after basketball with his family at home in Melbourne.
“I’m really starting to value my health away from the court and my health when I’m 40, 45, and 50. Some people might say it’s only six months of training but I’m at a point where I just can’t do it,” Bogut said. “It was really frustrating for me, but this off-season I’ve been able to get up in the mornings and walk pain free.”