Call it unlucky. Call it karma. Call it beware of what you ask for. It took less than two minutes for Andrew Bogut to start and stop the tour that would take him [eventually] back to Oracle and the NBA Finals. The fantasy of cutting down the nets as the Oakland faithful watched on in horror following the shove aside of his replacement Zaza Pachulia, the rolled eyes at GM Bob Myers with a you needed me arrogance, and a widened smile on his face, was like a movie ending where only half the people go home happy. It was so perfect.
It was so not perfect. It took less than two minutes before Andrew Bogut came up lame in his first game in Cleveland. It wasn’t particularly surprising since Bogut tends to get hurt staring at his own shadow but this was extreme for him. His leg collided with the knee of Okaro White (Miami Heat). He needed help off the court and at that point you knew he was done. Torn ACL. Bone bruise. Broken leg. It was going to be something he couldn’t come back from. An hour later the diagnosis of broken leg indicated it was the worst of times for Andrew Bogut. Be careful what you ask for.
Though Bogut has repeatedly said joining the Cavs wasn’t about Warriors revenge. Okay.
“You always say you want to get back at them for this, this and that. You know, it’s nothing to do with them. This decision was solely made on you know- I wasn’t making this decision based on Golden State. I was making this decision based on what the best opportunity was.”
The Cavs were Bogut’s best opportunity to get back to the NBA Finals for a third year a row. But, hello, the Finals would pit him against the team that ceremoniously dumped him. Bogut is like a scorned lover who wants us to believe he has no ill will against his ex. He is not jealous. He is fine with them hooking up with someone else.
If you use his logic, perhaps he didn’t think about punking the Dubs, and perhaps he wanted to win another ring given the dubious fragility of his body. But the high probability of meeting the Warriors in the Finals as a Cav and having the last word was too sweet for arrogant Bogut to resist.
Bogut aside, there is something a little bit strange though about the turn of events in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes. To clear up room for Durant, the Warriors had to get rid of Bogut who was an important piece in the Dubs championship runs and regular season history making record. The Warriors did the best they could with a substitute in Zaza Pachulia, and they took on JaVale McGee. But neither have provided the stimulus the Warriors need up front. Pachulia has been adequate but he isn’t as skilled as Bogut; Bogut is a better player when he is healthy which is the Bogut career missive. He is always injured.
The former number one pick of the Milwaukee Bucks has played 82 games once, his rookie year. He hasn’t played a full season since. He has had a 12 game season, a 32 game season, a 36 game season and now a 26 game season. But he played 78 games his third year in the league and he has had five seasons of 65, 67, 67, 69, 70 games. The last three were with the Warriors where he was his healthiest (after microfracture surgery).
He is 32 years old and his career is up in the air because what exactly can Bogut do for a team anymore, particularly in a league that is younger and faster?
The Bogut domino falling was one more injury curse in the Kevin Durant triad.
First there was Durant who had a freak injury with Bogut’s replacement, Zaza Pachulia. Then came Festus Ezeli who the Warriors couldn’t afford to re-sign with Durant in tow. Ezeli signed with the Blazers for $15 million and now has to have knee surgery. In a bizarre twist, Ezeli needed a cadaver. He was waiting months for a donor according to ESPN. Ezeli has not played one game for the Blazers.
So here is Ezeli with 0 games in 2016-17 and Bogut with 26 games plus two minutes in 2016-17 and Durant going down at the worst time possible. Coincidence or did someone from OKC buy some voodoo beads and put a hex on the the entire deal? (The last of the crew, Marreese Speights and Leandro Barbosa, are Warriors who also had to move on because of Kevin Durant. Both are healthy, for now.)
Of course the Warriors have the ultimate benefit. Durant will return. When and where is unknown.
The Warriors shipped off damaged goods and they continue to have the poker player’s luck. Now they won’t have to worry about Bogut’s negative energy creating havoc in the post season.
It is ride or die with Zaza Pachulia, so say the Basketball Gods.
photo via llananba