Bogut swaps Olympics for the office as he looks to the future

By self-admission, the 2020 NBL season was a grind for Andrew Bogut.

Turning his ankle in the Australian Boomers final exhibition game prior to the FIBA World Cup in China, the Sydney Kings big man found himself consistently in a game of catch up with his health.

"It was hard, man. I basically came into training camp with the Kings injured from the World Cup, I played through it at the tournament, but it wasn't great." Bogut told ESPN.

"I came back to Sydney and it started getting better before I slipped on a wet spot in a preseason game in Sydney and it swelled up again and just set me back. I limped into the first game against Cairns not in great shape and I just never really got to a point where I felt 100 percent.

"Not using this as an excuse at all but the best day I probably had was at around 70 percent probably, I was at 50-60 percent for the whole season."

A rigorous mid-week recovery routine helped Bogut to stay on the floor, with the reigning MVP and Defensive Player of the Year once again anchoring the league's best defence on their way to a 20-8 overall record - good for best in the NBL.

"I was doing all the extra stuff, I had my weights program, I was getting extra treatment at night that people don't see, having masseuses come at night and physios, the body was just sore and that was really frustrating.

"Towards the end of the season people thought I was resting but my back really locked up with about four weeks left in the season where I was stressing with finals around the corner. I ended up getting out there, but it wasn't the greatest shape I've been in that's for sure.

Despite limping to the finish line, Bogut was proving to be a major factor in the Grand Final series with Perth, averaging 15.0 points and 10.6 rebounds across the three games that were completed, amid the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic gripping the world.

"It was a little stressful, the wife's really taking it hard just making sure that our kids are healthy. You read that kids are generally okay with this virus but there are a lot of unknowns with this thing.

"We weren't rocking ourselves to sleep or anything but at the same time you are wondering why we are playing basketball games when the world around us is literally shutting down."

With on-court action grinding to a halt, Bogut intends on taking his first steps into the business side of the Kings franchise, as the transition from player to front office takes its first steps.

"I have a meeting today about all of that by video conference. I'll start to be a fly on the wall with certain things and just try to figure out what's going on and the ins and outs and how things operate," he said.

"I haven't really been involved at all with those types of meetings just because last offseason obviously I went to Golden State and the World Cup there wasn't a whole lot of opportunity."

Despite beginning to dip his toes into possible post-career ventures, Bogut is far from definitive about his playing future, and with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics now postponed, the 35-year-old is going to take the necessary time to weigh up his future and decide what will come next.

"I've been texting with Joe [Ingles] a little bit, it's one of those things that's up in the air. Now we know it's going to be 2021 but when is that going to be, how is that going to work, we don't know. That's a decision I'll look at in the next month or two and put together a plan for yay or nay and work out if it's doable.

"Obviously there was a chance of walking away [after the Olympics], that's obviously changed now so we'll just sit and wait, and first and foremost we just have to wait for the virus to be over and then go from there."

Naturally, every athlete would love the opportunity for the fairy tale ending, but with the rapidly evolving and uncertain world landscape, would there be any regrets if this was it for the 2005 NBA No. 1 overall pick?

"That's a good question, I actually just had this conversation a couple days ago and the advice I got was that whatever I do over the next year or two, it's not really going to change what I've done. It may be icing on the cake but don't make a decision based on that.

"An Olympic medal would have been sensational if I could have capped that off in August but obviously that's not doable right now. It's something I'd like to be a part of, the first Olympic medal of some sort, hopefully a gold medal, that's something that's never been achieved by an Australian men's team so to be a part of a group that would do that is something that comes to mind.

"If it doesn't happen or I don't even play in the Olympics again it's not going to be a case of me five years later wishing I had of done this or that. There's a lot of different factors that will impact that decision, some of them are family related, some of them are off-court things and one of them is just the fact of bouncing around the last four or five years living out of a suitcase taking its toll so we'll see what happens."