The Golden State Warriors have been on a rampage this season.
Relentless scoring, unselfish sharing and lockdown defense. Do the Dubs sound like a 2K cheat watchcode on the loose? There are many reasons for their success, one of which would be the presence of a certain center we know and love as Andrew Bogut.
A photo posted by Golden State Warriors (@warriors) on Jan 25, 2015 at 7:36pm PST
His presence has brought hard-nosed tenacity to the Warriors' defense, and impacts the game in a way that goes beyond rebounds and points. Bogey is 17th among the top rebounders this season. His plus-minus rating however, stands out among the top 20 rebounders at a staggering 10.6, next nearest being DeAndre Jordan at a distant 7.8.
(Incidentally, that +/- of 10.6? It ranks a modest fourth in the NBA this season, among players who have played 40 games or more. Such is the value of Bogut.)
Alisha Paelmke of Swathi Film and TV Productions had an exclusive interview with Bogut recently, and this is what he had to share on basketball and a little bit more.
Thank you so much for taking time out today. How is it like playing on such a high level, and playing with a team like the Warriors?
It has been good. I have been with some bad teams before in my career, so being on a team that has been winning a lot of games and playing defense is very enjoyable.
How is it playing for coach Kerr? Do you think his championship experience helped to come so far this season?
Yes. He has played for some of the greatest coaches in the league of all time, like Gregg Popovich. I think he knows what it takes [to win], he has learned from those guys and that is great for us.
I read that you like to pull pranks on each other. Do you think it is important to have good chemistry outside the arena in order to be good as a team?
Yes, definitely. I think we have a really close team and a very young team.
A photo posted by Brandon Rush (@brush_4) on Oct 8, 2014 at 8:43pm PDT
When we go on the road, a lot of guys go to eat together and maybe go have a drink together. I think that is rare in the NBA. Usually, guys kind of do their own thing. Our squad on the court is a big reason why it has been so wonderful.
Do you think that is a secret for your success?
I don't think it's a secret. Some teams do it, and some teams don't. We enjoy being around each other, so that always helps. Like I said, I've been with teams where you go to a city, and you don't see your teammates until the game starts. It is hard to build a relationship that way.
What are your memories from playing with the Australian team and on an international level?
I started as a junior with the Australian national team, so I traveled a lot for the games. We went everywhere, and it was [usually] a long flight for us. It is very enjoyable to represent your country, and I hope to do the same this summer and then next summer with the Olympics.
How does the future look like for you on an international level?
Hopefully, I will play this season. We are playing New Zealand soon, and then we play in August again. Next year, I definitely want to go to Brazil. I will be 32 years old, so it will probably be my last [Olympics].
What do you see as the main difference between Australian basketball and the NBA?
The NBA is the best league in the world. Australia's basketball is not [the best], and is probably lucky to be in the top 10. We have Australian football and cricket and all those sports. Not so much basketball. That's a little bit hard but in saying that, our National Basketball League (NBL) is okay.
The NBA has the best athletes in the world, and people want to watch them.
You like to play football as well, right?
Yes, Australian football, soccer. I played a lot of sports as a kid and I just kind of fell in love with basketball. I never realized that I could play the NBA and make a lot of money and be playing with such a great team. Out of all the sports, I enjoy basketball the most.
You are quite an outspoken person. Do you see yourself being in the public spotlight, also as an opportunity to speak up?
Yes, I'm not really politically correct. I'm kind of honest, and I say what I feel so I piss a lot of people off but I don't really care. It's my opinion on certain things in the world and it drives me crazy a little bit whether it's right or wrong - it's just my opinion.
What pisses you off?
Just the political correctness. I feel like every other day, somebody else is getting offended by what somebody else said. You have kids in Africa that have no water or food, and then you have people that complain about stupid things.
You played against the Clippers when everything happened with [Donald] Sterling. How was that like for you?
Yes, it was during the playoffs so a lot of guys in the locker room were really pissed off about it. It was a tough situation, a lot of guys were pretty down about it.
We have so many African-American players in the league, it was very tough to hear those comments. You never want to hear anything like that. The NBA prides itself with being multicultural and having international players from Germany, Australia, Brazil, Croatia so somebody coming out like that and saying that is pretty disappointing.
What do you miss the most about Australia?
It's just hard. I mean that is where I grew up. I still feel like a foreigner here. I enjoy being in America and playing in the NBA, but I'm still a foreigner.
Because of the different mentality?
The culture is different from where I grew up, and the mentality is different. I got an accent. I definitely fit in better in Australia.
You had to work very hard when you first came to the US. You were working in a restaurant, right?
Yes, I had no money so I was working in a sports bar and did some extra work. That was kind of my life, growing up. My dad was a laborer and my family was a blue collar family so I had no choice. If you don't work, you don't have money so I had to do that in college; thankfully I don't have to do that anymore.
Is that also what keeps you grounded?
A little bit. Especially financially. I value money more than most people do in my position, because I know what it was like when I had none so I make sure I make the right choices investment-wise. I still enjoy it, but I try to not go too crazy.
Our thanks to Andrew Bogut for sharing his thoughts. Don't forget to follow Andrew Bogut on Twitter at @andrewbogut. Be sure to experience the NBA season with Bogut and our fellow Aussies: don't miss out on our Aussies in the NBA weekly wrap.
#TeamPnR would also like to thank Alisha Paelmke for sharing this interview. She can also be found on Twitter at @Alisha_Paelmke.