Sport Basketball Andrew Bogut heading home to NBL with Kings

Andrew Bogut heading home to NBL with Kings

Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut has ended his 13-season NBA career and will return to Australia to play in the NBL with the Sydney Kings. Photo: Getty
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The NBL has received a massive boost with Boomers veteran Andrew Bogut returning to Australia to play with the Sydney Kings.

The Kings revealed the news on social media on Sunday night, adding that they will send a press release on Monday morning with details of the NBA championship-winning centre’s recruitment.

Bogut later retweeted the Sydney Kings’ post with the message “Bingo!”.

He became the first Australian to be the NBA’s first overall No.1 draft pick when he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005.

His signature is just what the Andrew Gaze-coached Kings need after finishing seventh last season with 11 wins from 28 games.

Their roster is shaping up nicely with their two guards – Kevin Lisch and Jerome Randle – who are both recent NBL MVPs, to run their backcourt.

Bogut’s long-time Boomers teammate and fellow 33-year-old Brad Newley is also one of the Kings’ key men.

Only last week, Bogut told Fox Footy’s On the Mark program that he wanted to help to spark more interest in Australian basketball.

“I think to come back and maybe play a season or two would be the icing on the cake for my career,” he said.

It’s been a long 13 years since the Kings won the NBL championship following three straight titles between 2003-2005 and they’ve missed the finals for the last five years.

It’s also been 13 years since Bogut debuted with Milwaukee as a 21-year-old.

After seven seasons with the Bucks, he was traded to Golden State where he won a championship with the Steph Curry-led Warriors in 2015.

The 2.13m Melbourne-born Bogut was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks the following year and after one season moved on the Cleveland, where he broke his left leg 56 seconds into his Cavaliers debut.

Late last year, Bogut signed with the LA Lakers but was waived by the club in January this year.

Last month, Bogut announced he wouldn’t return to the NBA for the ongoing 2017-18 season because he wanted to stay in Australia with his pregnant wife.

Bogut was close to pulling on a Sydney Kings singlet in 2011 during the NBA lockout.

He was keen to play in the Australian league but the insurance required to cover his lucrative Bucks contract became a roadblock to the short-term stint.

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