NBA

Andrew Bogut Talks About Leaving The Warriors



With the Warriors posting a record-setting win total and reaching the NBA Finals for a second straight season, Andrew Bogut appeared to have a long career ahead in Golden State. But Kevin Durant‘s desire to join the organization meant changes had to be made, and Bogut’s salary of more than $11MM was shipped to Dallas to create cap room to sign the former MVP. As he prepares for tonight’s game with the Warriors, the veteran center discusses his former team and other topics in an interview with USA Today’s Sam Amick.

On parting ways with a franchise that had been so successful:

“There’s no doubt it’s disappointing to leave one of the best teams – record-wise, those last two years … you leave a team like that and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was bitter in a way. I wasn’t mad at anybody about it. I understood it completely. I’m not stupid. But yeah, you’re disappointed leaving guys who you battled for a championship with, and guys where everyone understood their role and it was just fun to play and be a part of that team, because every day you came in to work and everyone kind of knew their role and accepted it. It was just cool to be part of that every day. It was just automatic. … That was probably the [most fun] part of it, was it was just so automatic for two years.”

On whether the Warriors would have stayed together if Durant had not become available:

“I think the move was to go a lot more long term, but we went to [seven] games in the NBA Finals … up 3-1, we’re a couple of minutes away [from winning it all] in Game 6 and Kyrie [Irving] hits a hell of a shot in Game 7. That’s the way it goes. But [the Cavs] were on the same side the year before. We [the Warriors] peaked pretty quickly. For us to go from the second round [of the playoffs in 2013] to first-round elimination [in 2014] and [Warriors coach Steve] Kerr comes in and wins a championship, nobody expected that. People thought it was going to be [the Warriors] having your battles, maybe go second round, then conference finals and lose. But we got there. That’s sport, man. They saw a vision where they wanted to get one of the best players in the world [in Durant], and they already had the best player in the world, and that’s the way it goes.”

On doubts about his durability that were expressed by people in the Warriors’ organization:

“People can take parting shots. I didn’t have a great Finals series obviously, with the injury, and finish off the way I wanted to, but that’s the way it goes. I’m not bitter about it. I could have played better definitely, especially on the offensive end. But I think defensively that I provided something for them that really helped that team win games.”

On Golden State’s early-season defensive problems:

“It’s an adjustment for them. Obviously [Warriors forward] Draymond [Green], we had a really good sync defensively where when he got beat I was there. When I got beat, he was there, and it was automatic. We didn’t have to talk about it. It was just reads. We knew how to play, and Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] did a good job of funneling guys to me and Draymond. Obviously they have to adjust to that when they go small now. I think OKC exposed us a little bit last season [in the seven-game conference finals] when we went small and they went big. They kind of exposed it. They went the anti-death lineup, which was staying true to who they were and should have beaten us hypothetically, so I think they’ll figure it out.”

On his feelings about facing the Warriors for the first time since the trade:

“No emotions. I’m good. Just go to work, try to get the win. Obviously it’s [one of] the toughest places to play in the league, and I’ll probably be more thankful when it’s all over. It’s going to be a circus … It’s going to be more draining than a regular game.”



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