The Los Angeles Lakers bought out veteran center Andrew Bogut earlier this season in order to allow him to sign with a contender while the team simultaneously freed up minutes for their younger big men.
Instead of signing with a team however, Bogut decided to remain in Australia to be with his pregnant girlfriend. At the time, Bogut said he would focus on returning to the NBA next season. Now, however, he’s signed a contract to play with the Sydney Kings of the NBL in his native Australia.
For many, signing a contract overseas doesn’t prevent the player from coming to the NBA, should there be interest. But at his press conference Bogut put an end to any speculation, saying there were no outs for a potential jump and that he is retired from the NBA, via the Associated Press:
“Before anyone asks, no NBA outs, no European outs,” Bogut said. “I’m committed to being here for two years … it will retire me from the NBA, I’m happy to say that today.”
Bogut’s last season didn’t offer much as far as court time. He didn’t get consistent minutes with the Lakers, but showed that he still has something left in the tank when he did play extended minutes. Nonetheless, the NBA career of the former no. 1 overall pick looks like it is officially over.
While he never was a major offensive force, Bogut was long one of the best defensive big men in the league, even after a gruesome left arm injury in 2010. Constant foot and ankle issues hindered him throughout his career, but he was still a vital piece for the Golden State Warriors, winning a championship in 2015.
In his lone season with the Lakers, Bogut was lauded for his leadership a by coaches and players alike and now he will finish out his playing career back at home.
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