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Aussies in NBA: Bogut's exactly what Dallas needs
You know what's a surefire way to win the affection of a new fanbase? By putting down their arch-rivals publicly of course!
Thus does Andrew Bogut's time as a Maverick begin, with a one of his patented wiseass comments. Media day marked the start of Bogey with Dallas, and since he didn't participate in the opening pre-season game against the New Orleans Pelicans (the same with several other vets), that's all we've got so far.
Even then, it's been nothing short of promising and exciting. I know, every time I've written about Bogut since the trade, I've been pretty much frothing at the mouth with anticipation, but can you blame me when he's saying things like this:
That's step two of becoming a fan favourite ultra-quick by the way, offering to be the franchise superstar's designated enforcer.
Dallas hasn't had much luck, to say the least, when it comes to attracting talent. Having bombed out multiple times on marquee free agents like Dwight Howard and Hassan Whiteside, it was great to see a big man choose to come here, albeit via a salary dump trade.
“I basically said, if I go [to the Philadelphia 76ers] I’ll be asking for a buyout, to put it frankly. And Dallas was one that I wasn’t going to ask for a buyout, so the Warriors kind of figured out, ‘Oh, we should send you here.’”, said the Aussie vet on the decision-making process. Some kudos definitely has to go to the Golden State Warriors front office as well, for trying their best to do right by their paint protector of the last couple seasons.
Speaking of paint protection, that has always been one of the more obvious perks that Bogey would bring to Dallas. Mayor Zaza Pachulia, god bless his Georgian soul, tried his best, but a shot-blocker he was not. Bogut brings his career average of 1.6 blocks per game to the Big D, and is ready to make life difficult for opponents under the basket.
“You know, just making sure that when guys come in that paint, especially early in games, I’m either contesting the shot, blocking the shot, taking a charge or fouling somebody.
“You know, I think the tone that I’ve set on previous teams, especially early in games, was exactly that. If teams get in the paint early, they feel good about themselves, and then so on down the line.
“So, that’s something I look to do. And then on the offensive end taking on a little more responsibility than I had in Golden State, being as aggressive as I was in the Olympics with the national team.”
This added offensive responsibility is a whole 'nother aspect to get hyped for. I've written about this before; having the team's first legitimate rim-runner/finisher since Tyson Chandler, as well as one of the most talented big man passers, is going to bring lots of highlight reel moments to Dallas fans for sure.
So there you have it, Andrew Bogut's first moments in a Mavericks jersey. Everyone's expectations on his contributions are pretty much set, and everything he's said so far fits the narratives. Barring any health concerns (come on, basketball gods, give the guy a chance), he'll be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Mavs' 5-spot.
Mate, we love you too.