DraftExpress Logo
     DraftExpress Facebook      DraftExpress Twitter    DraftExpress YouTube
 
Loading
 


Andrew Bogut Interview, Part Two
by: Jonathan Givony - President
June 21, 2005
Part One can be found here

Jonathan Givony:Just in general, what kind of impact do you think you are going to have in your rookie season? Are there any goals you are setting for yourself regarding what you want to accomplish as a rookie?

Andrew Bogut: Just to improve day by day and game by game. If I start off for example having two points and two boards my first game, then have three and three my next game and then four and four after that. I just want to have a steady pace to keep improving my game, I donít want to start off having twenty and twenty and then the next five games have nothing, you know? I just want to keep improving and keep up that consistency that I had in college and the Olympics. Rebound the ball and finish when I get it inside. Consistency is a big key and just improving day by day.

Jonathan Givony: It seems like there is a pretty good chance that you might end up on the same team as Toni Kukoc. How would you feel about that? With the Croatian connection and all that?

Andrew Bogut: Definitely. I watched him growing up. Heís a great player and he had learned to battle by just being smarter than the league. Heís definitely not the most athletic guy in the world, especially now compared with as a young player what he was, but he came over late from Europe and he just played the game because he was smart and he played well because he was smart. It was raw, he could have started for most teams in the league, but he was on a Bulls team that was great, and he understood that if he came off the roll his team would get fired up from that, and he understood that, so I think heís just a great player definitely on the court.

Jonathan Givony: So do you think you are sitting pretty firm at that number one spot? You hearing anything about that?

Andrew Bogut: We havenít heard anything. All that Iíve heard is that Atlanta will take me at two if I slip. So itís up to Milwaukee to decide between me and Williams, and I canít really control that. If they pick meÖyou know Iíll be very happy to go to Milwaukee, but if they donít pick me Iíll be very happy to go to Atlanta. So I think I am in a win-win situation either way.

Jonathan Givony: Did you know that the #4 jersey is retired in Milwaukee? Have you given any thought to what number you would choose if they would draft you?

Andrew Bogut: I havenít even really thought about that. Itís retired? Whose number was that?

Jonathan Givony: To be honest I couldnít tell you. We just asked people to send us some questions to ask you and that was one of them right there, from a Milwaukee fan no doubt.

Andrew Bogut: I donít know. Maybe 44 maybe? I had number six when I was growing upÖso Iím not sure man, I would have to sit down and think about it, see whatís available, just go with something. Iím not really huge on a number, I would always like to have #4, but if I canít get it then Iíll figure something else out. Itís not really going to change the way I play. Iíll just find something that I like.

Jonathan Givony: If we are talking about the Bucks, someone that there has been a little bit of buzz about is Linas Kleiza. They worked him out already and are supposedly interested in him if he keeps his name in. Heís a guy that you played against in Greece in the World Junior Championships two summers ago. He and you were considered the two best players at that tournament. Do you know him personally? Is that someone you might like to play with maybe? Is there anything you can tell us about his game?

Andrew Bogut: Oh heís a bitch to play against. Heís tough as hell. Someone you want on your team and someone you definitely donít want to play against. I think that if the Bucks took him and I, if we both have a chance to get drafted together then that would be an honor. Heís got a big heart and he plays hard for 48 minutes. I remember when we played against Lithuania, his team wasnít the best in the final against us, but he just kept on fighting. They were down 30 and he just kept fighting. I think he shows great heart, and heís your typical European guy, heís really tough and hard nosed, loves to be physical and just wants to win. Playing with a guy like that would really be awesome.

Jonathan Givony: Like yourself, Kleiza is a foreign guy who decided to go to college instead of opting for the big money overseas. Is that something that you would recommend to fellow foreign players who are considering turning pro? How do you think they develop in college as opposed to overseas from your personal experience?

Andrew Bogut: I think itís much better here. Europeans are signed at such a young age, at 16 they go professional. Which really hurts them because when they leave they have a 3-4 million dollar buyout they have to pay their club, and then they are losing moneyÖa helluva lot of money. So I think that college is much better. You are under the eyes of the scouts every day and you get a free education, so I think that a lot of kids will stop looking at Europe. A lot of Australian kids that I know now are opting to come to college instead of playing in the International leagues. So hopefully in Europe kids will stop signing at age 15 or 16 and youíll see a lot more of them over here.

Jonathan Givony: Is it just me, or does it seem like itís a little bit easier to be a draft prospect in Europe? Their game isnít being picked apart every single game by the scouts, and the expectations are a lot lower from them to really produce night in and night out. What do you think about that?

Andrew Bogut: Oh, itís definitely much easier to play overseas. In a way that if you want to get to the NBA, because like you said, they pick you apart here. They see you every day and they pick little flaws that you wouldnít notice if you were playing overseas. So playing in Europe is definitely an advantage if you want to get drafted higher.

Jonathan Givony: Weíre not going to talk about the eye stuffÖbut are we the only ones that are reading into Rick Majerusí comments in a way that maybe heís trying to sabotage your stock somewhat. Making excuses and maybe being a little bit afraid of the fact that he had the #1 pick in the NBA draft and he basically didnít do much with him. Regardless of whether thatís true or not, would it be wrong to take it that way?

Andrew Bogut: Iíve commented on that. I donít want to comment too much on that anymore, cause Iíve commented on that in the papers for the last two weeksÖbut you know if thatís your opinion, then Iíd probably back you up on that one. Thatís all Iím going to say on that you know.

Jonathan Givony: Right (laughs). So from training for the draft over the past few months, what are some things that youíve found out that you need to work on for the NBA? Beyond adding strength and all thatÖ

Andrew Bogut: I think everything man. I donít think that anybodyís game is perfect. Jordan wasnít close to perfection, ever, so he just kept working on it. You can never perfect your game, thatís the challenge of playing a sport, you can never be perfect. You got to bring it everyday to practice and everyday to the game. If you take one day off, someoneís going to kick your ass. I think every part of my game needs to improve to play in the NBA. Itís getting there, I just need to keep working hard at it.

Jonathan Givony: I need to ask you a little bit Australian basketball, I am not sure when weíll have the next opportunity. First off, I think we owe you some royalties from the next check we get from our advertisers, because the traffic weíve been getting from Australia all year long has been unbelievable. Iím not sure if there is any other country who has been more loyal and fanatic about keeping up with whatís going on with their guy, for the past two years really since we didnít just start talking about you yesterday like everyone else. How does it make you feel to know that an entire country, 20 million people or something have your back?

Andrew Bogut: Oh itís just awesome to know that all those people are behind me. Hopefully, my ultimate goal is to get young kids picking up a ball and playing basketball.

Jonathan Givony: Iím kind of curious to hear your thoughts on the way the NBL (Australian league) is struggling right now. Australian basketball fans seem very frustrated with the way they get very little support from the media, it seems like there just isnít money to go around, there isnít a whole lot of basketball broadcasted on TV whether itís the NBA or the Australian league. How do you think you going #1 is going to help basketball in Australia?

Andrew Bogut: I donít know if itís going to help the NBL, because I think a lot of kids opt to go to college and do better things. Itís a poor league at the moment, because there is no money in it and there are no sponsors like you said. I donít know if I can change that. I am just hoping to get more kids to pick up a basketball, and hopefully they can get to the NBA or get to Europe and be able to live a better life playing basketball. But Iím not sure about the NBL because Australia is football, rugbyÖAustralian heritage sports just like Americans have American Football, NASCAR and Baseball, so itís tough.

Jonathan Givony: I donít want you making any promises or anything like that, but is there anything specific that you think you can do to help the sport get back to where it was almost ten years ago in Australia? Getting kids interested in basketball again?

Andrew Bogut: I donít think itís the kids, like I just said, they are all picking up footballs and cricket bats instead of basketball. Thatís something I am going to try and change. Hopefully I can promote the game more so people get involved in the game more. But itís tough, if you bring a new sport out in the States, like soccer has taken so long here in the States, because you know, American football is so big and baseball is so big, NASCAR, so they have so much money to advertise and promote their game. When you are a small game that not so many people follow it is hard for you to promote your game.

Jonathan Givony:From what my friends in Australia tell me, ten years ago things were doing much better. You had a bunch of Australians getting drafted and with Luc Longley winning those championships with the Bulls there seemed to be some kind of resurgence. Now that seems to have died off for one reason or another. Thatís kind of sad because Australia has some great athletes, a lot of height and especially the infrastructure to develop them. You look at the medal count from the Olympics every 4 years and Australia is always head and shoulders above the pack in the medal count per capita, just being very competitive in every single sport. So why not basketball?

Andrew Bogut: I think thatís just the way they feel. Basketball did really well in the 80ís and then there werenít that many NBA players besides Luc Longley so there wasnít really a big fan base to see basketball. I think that the big thing was that when basketball got cut from pre-direct TV it all went downhill. You had to buy cable and a lot of people didnít want to do that to watch basketball, so it all just went downhill from there. A lot of guys left the game to go to other places, so it was less publicized, and then Australian football, rugby and cricket saw that basketball was down so they decided to advertise more, get more money and more people to their game and thatís just the way it worked out.

Jonathan Givony: Any thoughts on the future of the national team? With young guys like Brad Newley and established vets like David Andersen, and then throwing you into the mix, do you think there is any chance for some success in the next few years?

Andrew Bogut: I think Brad Newley will make the league. He is a great athlete, but he should have went to college, but he made that decision himself. Steve Markovic is a kid who was at the Treviso camp in Italy and did very well. There are a lot of young kids coming out. Adam Bruce, plays at the University of Baylor. He should have been the Big 12 freshman of the year, but for some reason he didnít get it. Daniel Kickert from St. MaryísÖthere are a lot of young kids, especially who are playing in college that are going to be very good playing for our country. So yeah, I think that in a couple of years we are going to have a very good national team.

Jonathan Givony: Do you think you are going to follow the same route that guys like Nowitzki took, meaning going over to qualify for International tournaments every summer and then playing in international tournaments? Or would you maybe go more for something like Ilgauskas who doesnít really seem to give a damn about his national team and doesnít ever play for them at all? Which direction do you see yourself going more towards?

Andrew Bogut: Definitely more like Nowitzki, but itís hard to get to the qualifiers since itís at the worst possible time of the yearÖat a time of the year when you need rest, you canít play basketball 12 months a year and I think thatís the problem. I think Ilgauskas if his team doesnít qualify in the Olympics then they arenít going to play well at the European championships, his team is going to get beaten up at the European championships by the Yugoslavians, Croatians and so on. So I think thatís primarily the reason why he doesnít go.

Jonathan Givony: Thereís something like 150 Australians in the NCAA right now, maybe more than that, Iím not sure. How come thatís become so much of an option for Australian players? Is there just a really strong recruiting process that goes on? Really strong ties between the high schools and AIS? Whatís going on behind the scenes there?

Andrew Bogut: I just think that a lot of people started doing it, and they were successful in doing it. They end up being successful straight away and go to the NBA, or they go to Europe. So I think that a lot of kids just really want to have more options. If they donít they either go to the NBA or they are looked into the Australian league or you are locked into going to Europe. So you have that much more options, I think a lot of kids see that now.

Jonathan Givony: Do you have any sleepers for us? Maybe some Australian players that we might not know about and should?

Andrew Bogut: I think that Daniel Kickert has a chance to go the NBA. He can shoot the ball really well. Aaron Bruce has a chance if he keeps working hard. Brad Newley you guys already know about. Steven Markovic has a chance if he keeps working hard too. So those are probably the four main guys that are young that have a chance to get over here.

Jonathan Givony: I see you mentioned that we know about Newly. Have you been following our coverage this year at all?

Andrew Bogut: Oh yeah, I used to go on DC quite a bit, but you guys changed now so I havenít been on the new one yet. I havenít been on the net for a while.

Jonathan Givony: Alright Andrew, I really appreciate your time. Best of luck with your workout on Monday and in the draft in general and weíll see you in the NBA I guess.

Andrew Bogut: OK cool man. Thanks, I appreciate it.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com .

 

Toni Kukoc
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 192 lbs.
Birthday: 09/18/1968
45 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #2 in 1990 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: F,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
4.9 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 2.1 Asts


Linas Kleiza
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 233 lbs.
Birthday: 01/05/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Montrose Christian
Previous Team: Missouri , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #27 in 2005 Draft
by the Trailblazers
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
9.0 Pts, 4.0 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Luc Longley
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 2"
Weight: 265 lbs.
Birthday: 01/19/1969
45 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Scotch College
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #7 in 1991 Draft
by the Timberwolves
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
2.0 Pts, 2.6 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Brad Newley
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 198 lbs.
Birthday: 02/18/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Australian Institute of Sport
Previous Team: Townsville , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #24 in 2007 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
11.2 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 1.6 Asts


David Andersen
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 242 lbs.
Birthday: 06/23/1980
33 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Australian Institute of Sport
Previous Team: Siena , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #8 in 2002 Draft
by the Hawks
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
11.5 Pts, 4.2 Rebs, 1.5 Asts


Daniel Kickert
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 05/29/1983
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Australian Institute of Sport
Previous Team: Saint Mary's , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
6.7 Pts, 4.3 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Aaron Bruce
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 12/21/1984
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Horsham College
Previous Team: Baylor , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
1.7 Pts, 1.3 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Steven Markovic
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Birthday: 03/14/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Australian Institute of Sport
Previous Team: West Sydney , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
13.4 Pts, 1.9 Rebs, 4.6 Asts


© 2014 DraftExpress LLC All rights reserved.