OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks swung a trade in the offseason to make the Kevin Durant signing possible.
Andrew Bogut, an outspoken center, thought his durability was unduly criticized as he was departing.
He wasn’t happy about it, but chalked it up to business as usual in the NBA, according to a story by USA Today’s Sam Amick:
“That’s how it is. I don’t buy into the sources thing. I don’t buy into all that (expletive), because this league is so two-faced and everybody is so fake. The same people who made those comments will see me tomorrow and shake my hand and ask me how my family is. This league is full of people who are full of (expletive) and shallow, and that’s what you figure out in pro sports. It’s very hard to meet a genuine person who you can call your friend in this league. That’s just the reality, and I understand that.
“People can take parting shots. I didn’t have a great Finals series obviously, with the injury, and finish off the way I wanted to, but that’s the way it goes. I’m not bitter about it. I could have played better definitely, especially on the offensive end. But I think defensively that I provided something for them that really helped that team win games.”
(SOURCE: USA Today)
He qualified what he meant on Wednesday before his new team faced his old running mates.
“The quotes were directly related, in general, to anonymous sources in the league,” Bogut said. “Not so much to do with the Warriors or whoever. Over the course of 12 years, if you’re not going to put your name to a quote, don’t quote it. I know for a fact that people in this league will give those anonymous sources and it could be people on your staff. And they’ll look in your eye and act like you’re best friends — ‘How’s your family? How’s your kids? Everything good?’ — It was more related to that. That’s just the business that we’re in.”
“It wasn’t directed at any one team or any one person,” he continued. “… If it was someone from Golden State, which I’m sure — there were anonymous sources in the Draymond article and other articles — they’re the same people that will see you and say, ‘Hey how are you? How’s things? It’s good to see you. We miss you around here.’”
Bogut said he expects a warm welcome, and according to his coach, he deserves it.
“This is a great crowd,” Rick Carlisle said. “When David Lee came back here last year it was a two minute standing ovation for him.”
The Mavericks are on a two-game winning streak after starting the season 0-5. A big reason they’ve been able to turn things around is the emergence of Bogut and Barnes on the offensive end.
Barnes has scored 65 points over the last two games, earning high praise from Carlisle.
“The thing that I love most about him from a culture standpoint is that he’s everything you’d want from a foundation piece for a franchise,” Carlisle said. “He lives in the gym. He wants to be really really good. He studies the game, takes care of himself.”
That’s high praise from a typically stoic coach. But when you take photos like this after signing, it’s prudent for you to prove to be a franchise cornerstone:
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) July 7, 2016
Bogut attributed Barnes’ emergence as a potential All Star to being a direct result of increased opportunity.
“He’s a No. 1, No. 2 option. Simple as that,” Bogut said. “He’s getting volume touches, he’s obviously a player that has confidence from coach saying, ‘Hey, we’re riding with you if you go 10-for-20 or 1-for-20, you’re still getting the 21st shot.’ And when you get that confidence from the coach and organization, it changes your mindset.”
Meanwhile, the Warriors’ replacement for Bogut at the center position, Zaza Pachulia, earned a vote of confidence from his former coach.
“He’s a very good fit because he can play the game similar to the way Andrew plays it from a passing standpoint,” Carlisle said shortly after having a pregame conversation with Pachulia. “He understands the mentality of playing with great cutters and great shooters. But again I’m sure that his adjustment has been a gradual one and it’s going to take some time before they hit their stride. There’s a lot of focus on their stars, but he’s a very important part of their equation as well and he played extremely well for us last year.”