- Bogut is upset with NBL’s handling of coronavirus crisis
- Kings centre reveals some players are struggling mentally
Andrew Bogut blasted the NBL hierarchy for their lack of communication with players and “retroactive” management that led to Sydney Kings’ grand final series against Perth being cancelled and awarded to the Wildcats with two games to play.
Perth, who led the series 2-1 ahead of Friday’s scheduled fourth game, were awarded the title on Thursday in extraordinary circumstances as sporting bodies grapple with the coronavirus crisis. Kings centre Bogut said he had no issue with that decision but slammed the league for not leading the process, saying players were “used like pawns”.
“It’s hugely disappointing for any professional athlete to make the decision we had made,” Bogut said.
“To me, what’s more disappointing is how the NBL have handled this. That’s got nothing to do with Perth, I’ve got no issues with all that. The retroactive aspect of this (from the NBL) has been 10 out of 10. The proactive was barely one (out of 10), the reactive stuff is probably about five.”
Bogut says there was no contingency plans or scenarios planned out by the league, and that players were treated as “an afterthought”. The Boomers star revealed Kings players broke down in tears during a three-hour meeting, and says a number of players are struggling mentally with the situation.
Bogut also backed Paul Smith after the Kings owner claimed both NBL owner Larry Kestelman and the Wildcats reneged on an agreement that neither club was to have the championship without completing the five-game series. “I wasn’t involved, but I trust Paul Smith and Chris Pongrass. I’ve no reason to believe they lied,” he said.
Discussing the social responsibilities of athletes, Bogut says that as it stands, he would not compete in the Tokyo Olympics with the Boomers.