Aussies in NBA: Bogut Appreciation Post
Our Aussies in the NBA don't tend to get much attention. For the most part they're just perceived as solid role players at best, and when they do finally make the headlines, it's for crap like this.
So it's good to see some love dropping Andrew Bogut's way for once. He's been busy on the interview circuit recently, with a first Australian appearance on the Bill Simmons Podcast followed soon after by a quick one on the Breakfast with Frank and Ox show.
All this has led up to winning the Victorian Male Athlete of the Year at The Victorian Sport Awards. Being an integral part of the 2014-15 champion Warriors certainly didn't hurt his chances, with the title win helping to spread Australia's sporting heritage worldwide.
“Andrew Bogut and [Victorian Female Athlete of the Year] Meg Lanning have made their mark on the world stage. They’re athletes of the highest calibre, and worthy winners.” said Minister for Sport John Eren.
This continues Bogey's amazing year of being an NBA champion. He mentioned on the Bill Simmons pod about how playing as a team instead of gunning for stats gets everyone from the star to the 15th man paid, but clearly this isn't just about contract dollar amounts. The recognition and endorsement opportunities that present themselves are part of it too.
But back to the court. Bogey's game is one that isn't necessarily easy for casual fans to appreciate; it's mostly a lot of grunt work that doesn't show up on the box score most of the time. But he can still turn it on when he has to, and he was a huge reason the Warriors managed to hold off the Atlanta Hawks at the beginning of the month with Stephen Curry sitting out.
One line in the linked article goes: "If Curry is the Warriors’ brain and Draymond Green is their heartbeat, then Bogut is their knees." The Dubs certainly go where Steph goes and Draymond provides the emotional impetus, but without the functional parts themselves performing at optimal levels, there's only so far a team can go. Well, the Warriors have gone pretty far, so I'd say Bogey has been hitting optimal levels pretty consistently.
Bogues isn't letting the fame get to his head though. He's probably the most level-headed professional athlete around, and he regularly takes time out of his schedule to help children in various ways. We've written before about his work with The Isabella and Marcus Paediatric Brainstem Tumour Fund, and he's been involved in more community work recently.
In conjunction with financial services company PwC, Bogut spoke to 30 kids about the importance of developing financial skills.
“I think it’s incredibly important today to have a basic career plan to make money and the financial knowledge of how to use and invest that money,” Bogey said. “Being young and having that knowledge will really pay off down the road.”
“Six years into my career I didn’t feel comfortable doing everything myself, and now I can sleep at night knowing where everything is and how everything works,” continued Bogut. “I used an online Australian university course for financial planning during the season to learn where to put my money and how to invest.”
When a former number one overall NBA pick who probably has more money than he knows what to do with is stressing the importance of financial literacy, and even taking an university course to get himself on the right track, that provides a real example for kids to follow.
The fame that comes with being a part of the champions is immense, and may be overwhelming sometimes. It's great to see good ol' Andy B get his well-deserved time in the spotlight, but it's even better seeing how he uses his fame to boost some very worthy causes. Good on ya, Bogey!