NBA championship-winning centre Andrew Bogut announced his immediate retirement from the US basketball organisation on December 1 after a 15-year career.
The 36-year-old Australian, who was the NBA’s top draft pick in 2005 for the Milwaukee Bucks, said the coronavirus shutdown had given him time to reflect on his future.
“The decision hasn’t been an easy one, but I think it’s the right decision,” he said on his podcast Rogue Bogues.
“I’ll be retiring from professional basketball effective immediately.”
Bogut said he had been grappling with chronic pain from injuries, revealing he had undergone two surgeries during the off-season.
“The last two years have been a challenge for me, just to get out of bed in the morning some days, let alone go to a training session or a game,” he said.
“The body, probably from 2018 onwards, was hanging on a thread.
“I’d say 2019-2020 season that thread was completely frayed and in little pieces.”
Bogut said he had previously been focused on making it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to represent Australia but now wanted to prioritise his health.
“I just can’t physically and mentally get to 2021 with the way the body has been,” he said.
“I could get there with a lot of painkillers and mental anguish but it’s just not worth it at this point in my career.
“I’m really starting to value my health away from the court, and my health when I’m 40, 45 and 50.”
No new contract
The announcement comes just six months after Bogut said he would not be renewing his contract with the Sydney Kings in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL).
He signed a two-year contract with the Kings in 2018 following a 13-year NBA career capped when he won the championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015.
Bogut, who stands 2.13m tall, spent seven seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks before being traded to Golden State. He also played with the Dallas Mavericks and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He was the NBL’s MVP for the 2018-2019 season. The Kings made it to the league’s grand final this year before the season was ended prematurely by the coronavirus shutdown.