Australian basketball great Andrew Bogut has retired from the sport effective immediately, leaving the nation without its most experienced campaigner ahead of next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Bogut, who won an NBA championship with Golden State in 2015, announced his decision on his podcast Rogues Bogues on Tuesday, citing a growing toll of injuries on his body.
“The decision hasn’t been an easy one, but I think it is the right decision. The decision that I made and where I will be signing for next season is absolutely nowhere. I will be retiring from professional basketball, effective immediately,” Bogut said.
The 36-year-old parted way with the Sydney Kings in May, a couple of months after the NBL finals series was cancelled midway through due to Covid-19.
He had returned to Australia in 2018 believing the softer NBL schedule would increase his chances of extending his career through to the Tokyo Olympics.
Bogut was named the NBL’s MVP in 2019 and led the Kings to a grand final last season while battling back and ankle injuries, which both required surgery this year.
“The last two years have been a real challenge for me just to get out of bed in the morning some days, let alone go to a training session or a game,” Bogut said. “The body, probably from 2018 onwards, was hanging by a thread.
“It was real challenging and the from the 2019-20 season that thread was completely frayed and in little pieces. It was real frustrating for me.”
The 7ft centre was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft and helped pave the way for Australians to break into the United States’ top league.
Bogut also competed in three Olympics and was a member of the 2016 squad that finished fourth at Rio in 2016.
“I just can’t physically and mentally get to 2021 with the way the body has been,” Bogut said. “I mean, I could, on a lot of painkillers and with a lot of physical and mental anguish, but it’s just not worth it at this point in my career.”